There is no doubt that technology is changing the way we work. With the rise of mobile gadgets, Australian employers increasingly expect their staff to be on call outside of work hours, and even when they’re on holiday. However, as staff prepare to log-on over the Easter long weekend, many are not being paid for working overtime, according to the latest Workplace Survey from Robert Half International.
The survey of 416 finance and accounting professionals and managers in Australia found that over two-thirds (68%) of employers expect their staff to be available to some degree while on annual leave or out of office hours.
In particular, many middle and senior managers are finding themselves permanently on call. Of the employers that expect their staff to be available when they are out of the office, nearly three quarters (71%) expect their middle managers to be on call, whilst 88% expect this of their senior management team.
Andrew Brushfield, Director at Robert Half, said, “Although employees across the country are looking forward to the long Easter weekend, the reality is that many will struggle to completely switch off.
“Mobile technology has created a culture where employees are always connected to work, and many find it difficult to strike a balance.”
Whilst some employers are putting pressure on their staff to log-on when they’re on holiday, many employees are also choosing to do so, to reduce their workload when they get back to the office.
Well over half (58%) of Australian employees admit that they stay connected to work or do work related tasks when they are on holiday. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of those that stay connected say that filtering through work emails means that they are less stressed when they return from their break, and half (50%) say that they like to keep on top of work issues – even when they are on holiday.
However, many employees are not being rewarded for putting in these longer hours. Whilst 45% of employees get time off in lieu, as little as 13% get overtime payment for any additional hours they work.
“Employers need to make sure that their employees get a proper holiday so that they come back to work refreshed and don’t burn out. Employers can do this by arranging proper hand overs when staff go on holiday, and limiting calls and emails to the person on leave,” Andrew advised.
“Employers can also bring in temporary staff to cover when key employees are on leave, so that important tasks keep moving forward. After all, creating a healthy work-life balance is ultimately crucial to business productivity and staff retention,” he added.