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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, June 24, 2018 1:00 am

Survey: Many on vacation keep checking in

LISA GREEN | The Journal Gazette

Summer vacation. It sounds so good. Leave the work behind.

But results from another recent survey suggest that work is still very much on the minds of many employees when they should be relaxing.

While 44 percent of employees typically don't check in with the office, the majority will, according to results from a survey by Accountemps.

The staffing firm said 70 percent of respondents ages 18 to 34 will maintain some contact with work, compared with only 39 percent of those ages 55 and older.

The survey also showed that professionals in New York, Charlotte, Los Angeles, Miami and Seattle check in the most; Cleveland and Minneapolis the least.

We're so connected to work that employees plan to take an average of nine days off this summer, down from 10 in 2017.

The survey, conducted by an independent research firm, was based on responses from more than 2,800 workers in 28 U.S. markets.

“Employees need time away from work to rest, relax and recharge. Yet for an increasing number of people, totally disconnecting from the office can have the reverse effect and add stress,” Michael Steinitz, executive director for Accountemps, said in a news release about the survey results.

Some employees simply don't have peace of mind unless they check in when away from work.

“Doing so confirms that all is well, which allows them to stop worrying and focus on relaxing instead,” Steinitz said.

Accountemps offered several suggestions to make it easier to enjoy time away from work. They include delegating to others, which includes explaining processes and procedures; considering temporary staffing; letting clients and others know when you plan to be away and someone else they can contact if necessary; or – if you must – designating specific check-in times.

Managers can help set the tone.

“Whether you're a manager or part of a team, you can lead by example in the way you take your next vacation – away from work,” the firm said.

Youth among us

Employers are warming back up to youth.

May marked the beginning of the summer hiring surge, which, since 2006, has averaged 1.3 million teen jobs, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

The Chicago-area outplacement and executive coaching firm said 130,000 workers ages 16 to 19 found employment in May. Last month's gains were 73 percent higher than the 75,000 jobs recorded in May 2017. 

The numbers are based on an analysis of nonseasonally adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But the increase this year actually suggests a rebound. In May 2017, the job gains for teens were 52 percent lower than the 156,000 jobs recorded in May 2016. So this year's May job gains were below two years ago.

“Teens continue to explore other opportunities outside of paid employment,” said Andrew Challenger, vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “While this could help with college résumés, it likely will not build the soft skills and work experience employers like to see from entry-level workers.”

To share a thought, a favorite quote or other wisdom about leadership, email Lisa Green at Lead On also appears online as a blog at