Many SME employees will be working every day during their 2019 summer holidays, with 30.5% working either every day (22.8%) or multiple times each day (7.7%). Overall, more than two-thirds (67%) will spend some time working during their summer holidays, according to new research from process management firm Process Bliss.
The research was commissioned to better understand modern SME working habits and revealed changing expectations about working cultures. 45% of SME employees say that their clients expect them to be available during their summer holiday and 41% say that their boss expects them to be available.
“While working during the summer holidays might sound horrific to some people, working patterns and habits have changed and in 2019 people don’t all feel the need for a complete break,” said Alister Esam, CEO, Process Bliss. “That said, many people still want and deserve a complete break from work and if they are working because they don’t trust others to get work done or that they believe things will be missed without them, then that is unacceptable and needs to be addressed.”
The main reasons given for SME employees working during their summer holidays were: they can’t relax properly on holiday without knowing things are being done (36%); they feel they are being conscientious (28%); worrying that something important will be missed (24%); not trusting colleagues to keep everything in order (16%); and feeling they are the only ones who can do their job (13%).
A further 25% say that it is a particularly busy time at their place of employment currently, while it would also appear that not everyone is a fan of time with the family – 10% say working over summer holidays gives them a chance to sneak away from the family while 7% say they get bored on the summer holiday.
Of those that will be working over the summer holidays, 67.5% will check email and 34% will call the office for updates. 28% will have direct contact with customers / suppliers and 17% will settle down to do report writing or other written work.
“No-one should ever be expected to work during holidays, or feel that the SME they work for cannot manage for a few weeks without them,” continued Alister Esam. “There’s also a clear difference between a few quicks checks on email and spending every day of a holiday working. SMEs need to put in place better training programmes to ensure people can take a full break, or establish proper processes for tasks and roles so others in the organisation can follow those and ensure everything gets done as it should do.”