IT workers are taking less holiday - despite an emphasis on "employee wellness"

Report finds ICT workers are taking less time off than ever, likely due to increased workloads and insufficient staff numbers.

Feb 20, 2024 - 15:50
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IT workers are taking less holiday - despite an emphasis on "employee wellness"

IT workers aren't getting the opportunity to take as much vacation time as before, new research has claimed.

HR firm Access PeopleHR has published its annual leave report, which looked at holiday data from over 122,000 workers in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, and found employees took almost 8% less leave in 2023 than in 2022.

This is also 12% less than in 2020, making the dip one of the biggest on record. Workers are not using their full annual leave entitlement, meaning they could be working more than their contracted hours. 

Overworked

Access PeopleHR says that the report "brings attention to the importance of taking time off, which can boost employees well-being, motivation and job satisfaction."

It points out, though, that some companies are too short staffed and have mounting workloads, meaning that ICT pros aren't able to make full use of their entitlement.

ICT ranked eighth out of eighteen industries when it came to workers who use the least amount of their annual leave. They took  32 days off on average in 2023, which is down from 35 in 2022.

Charles Butterworth, managing director at Access People, said that, "workers across the UK are under a great deal of pressure with rising household expenses, work-related stress and personal commitments. It’s more important than ever that people take time off to rest and recharge – so that they can come back stronger."

He added that there "could be many reasons" for the decline in annual leave, such as "poor planning, anxiety about falling behind, or a heavy workload." But he believes that "ultimately, it’s our duty as employers to help our teams book time off, whether this is through regular reminders or implementing a simple and efficient booking system."

"Companies need to take action and investigate why employees are reluctant to take time off, so that they can put strategies in place to support them. It’s also essential that companies and employers have a clear view of any requests, so that they can manage them instantly."

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