December 2017
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TD Magazine

Majority of HR Staff Work While on Vacation

The holidays are approaching, and a lot of people at your company are probably planning vacations. Are you, too? If so, do you plan on leaving your work behind? Apparently, many of your colleagues in the HR department don't.

In a recent HR Certification Institute (HRCI) poll of human resources professionals, nearly three quarters of respondents indicated they usually work at least occasionally on vacation. Of the 300 respondents, 17 percent said they almost always or always work on vacation. Surprisingly, that came despite only a minority of respondents—16 percent—saying they believed their companies expected them to work while on vacation.


If the HR team is working, then it's likely that other members of the organization are too. And while wanting to remain tuned-in is admirable, working on vacation can eliminate or reduce many of the benefits of taking time off, such as higher productivity, stronger workplace morale, and improved health.

In fact, working during a vacation can even blur your memories of it. According to a 2016 study from the University of Texas and vacation rental site HomeAway, clocking even as little as an hour of work time during a trip can make you 43 percent more likely to have trouble remembering it than if you worked an hour or less. Of course, working an hour is on the low end for many individuals, which is concerning because the study finds your trip becomes less memorable the more you work.

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About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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