Remote workers need vacay too: The importance of unplugging when you work from home

Just because you can work from the pool, it doesn’t mean you should!

Productivity among remote workers has become something of a paradoxical subject. It’s been widely proven that staff tend to get the most work done when they work remotely. But at the same time, remote workers tend to be too productive, often working well beyond the time they would if they were working in an office.

Many remote workers struggle to unplug completely, answering emails at all hours of the day and feeling as though they must always be available. This troubling behaviour follows them on vacation too, according to new data. But experts are trying to encourage it to stop.


Burnout is one of remote work’s biggest challenges

Burnout is one of the challenges remote workers can face, which is ironic considering better work-life balance has been one of the biggest benefits — and one of the most attractive features — of remote work.

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Burnout can be a serious challenge for remote workers. (Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels)

But the burnout is more because some can feel pressure to not take time off or establish boundaries for work hours. Such employees have said it’s not because of any pressure from their employers, but because they themselves feel “guilty” about taking time off when they already work from home.

According to a new study by cloud HCM software company Ceridian, just half of remote workers surveyed disconnected completely from work when they were away.

Only 51% of British remote workers feel they “can truly unplug while they’re away from work.”

Michelle Bonam, Ceridian VP of Organisational Effectiveness, warned: “For a workforce already experiencing burnout, not having time to recharge can have negative consequences.”


Enjoy remote work, but put the phone down every once in a while too

In that same survey from Ceridian, almost all remote workers said their job gives them more flexibility to do things like plan vacation, travel further away and travel for longer periods.

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Some remote workers feel pressure to be available 24/7. (Photo by Armin Rimoldi on Pexels)

They also admitted that taking a break improves their mental and physical health, makes them more productive when they return and increases their job satisfaction.

So, how to get them to feel more comfortable actually embracing work breaks fully? Well, Bonam says things like normalising time off can help.

She also suggested that management lead the charge in encouraging employees to take time off, and this is something recently mentioned in one of our articles.

We found that most managers strongly supported their remote staff taking time off when needed, such as when they’re sick.

For remote workers, it can be hard to unplug when it’s so easy to stay in the productivity zone and get work done, or to do so out of anxiety about job security. But all evidence suggests your boss probably supports you taking a break when you need it. is spreading the word: remote workers deserve time off too!

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