No Fun in the Sun: Many Canadian Professionals Can't Unplug on Vacation

More than one-third of workers (34 per cent) check in with the office during vacation

  • Nearly half of millennials check in with the office, while the majority of workers ages 55 and older fully disconnect on holiday
  • Employees plan to take an average of nine workdays off this summer, down from 11 in 2017

Toronto, ON — Summer is typically when workers take time off to relax and recharge. But just because Canadian employees take vacation days doesn’t mean they’re completely checking out, according to a new survey from staffing firm Accountemps. While 64 per cent typically don’t check in at all with the office, more than one-third (34 per cent) will. In fact, 46 per cent of respondents ages 18 to 34 will maintain some contact with work compared to only 27 per cent of those 55 and over.

View data tables of the research by age and gender.

David King, Canadian president of Accountemps, offers insight into why unplugging on vacation may be difficult. “Today’s professionals have a lot on their plates, and for some, the occasional check-in to confirm all is well may offer peace of mind and help them concentrate on relaxing.”

Professionals plan to take an average of nine vacation days this summer, down from 11 days in 2017. But findings from similar surveys show the frequency of check-ins has stayed consistent: In 2016, 36 per cent of professionals said they planned to check in while on vacation; last year that number stuck close at 33 per cent.

“Preparation is key to a restful vacation,” added King. “Plan ahead by delegating assignments to team members to keep projects on track, and proactively limit how often you check in. By letting yourself unplug and reset, you’ll return more energized, focused and productive.”

For more advice on how to disconnect from work while on vacation, visit the Robert Half blog.

About the Research

The survey was developed by Accountemps and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 550 workers in Canada.

About Accountemps

Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has 300 locations worldwide. More resources, including job search services, can be found at

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