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What office workers really think about time off requests

3 min read

What office workers really think about time off requests
Ever been tempted to take time off so you can be in to receive that Amazon package? You're not alone! We take a deep dive into the world of time off requests
In the whirlwind of contemporary work culture, balancing professional responsibilities with personal life can sometimes feel like an intricate dance. With meetings, deadlines, and the constant stream of emails demanding our attention, it's no wonder that taking time off has become an essential aspect of maintaining sanity.
To gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics surrounding time-off requests, Instantprint conducted a survey among 1,000 office workers, revealing some intriguing insights into their thoughts and behaviours in this regard. So, grab a cup of coffee and let's dive into the fascinating world of discretionary time off.

A cry for freedom

Hold onto your office chairs because here's the headline: a whopping 42 per cent of office workers surveyed believe that employees should have the liberty to request time off whenever they please.
"There's a growing desire for flexibility in the workplace"
It's as if a collective yearning for autonomy is bubbling beneath the surface. These results underscore a growing desire for flexibility in the workplace, suggesting that employers should revisit and revise their time-off policies to align with these shifting expectations.

The age-old attendance conundrum

You might think that younger employees would be the ones calling in sick or taking days off to catch a breather, right? Well, the survey results threw us a curveball.
It turns out that the 35–44 age group emerged as the champions of "good attendance", with more than a third of respondents reporting that they hadn't taken any time off recently. Could it be a blend of experience, responsibility, or perhaps just plain stubbornness? It's a puzzle worth pondering.
Discretionary time off
Younger generations seem to have mastered the art of taking time off. A staggering 50 per cent of respondents who admitted to enjoying five or more discretionary days off in the past year fell into the 18–34 age bracket.
It's as if they've cracked the code for work-life harmony, showing that younger employees may prioritise personal time and experiences differently from their older counterparts. This finding could be a harbinger of change in time-off policies and workplace expectations.

Lying for time off

In an eyebrow-raising revelation, a small but notable six per cent of survey participants confessed to bending the truth to secure time off. Oops! This raises ethical questions about honesty in the workplace.
"A significant 18 per cent of respondents admitted to feeling uncomfortable asking for a discretionary day off"
It seems that fostering an environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their time-off needs openly might be the key to curbing this tendency. After all, a little honesty can go a long way in building trust between employers and employees.
Perhaps one of the most concerning findings of the survey is that a significant 18 per cent of respondents admitted to feeling uncomfortable asking their employer for a discretionary day off. This insight highlights a concerning communication gap between employees and employers regarding time-off requests. Companies should consider implementing transparent and non-judgmental policies to alleviate these apprehensions and encourage open dialogue.

The impact on the job hunt

Here's where things get real interesting. Over half of the survey participants revealed that if their employer denied them discretionary time off, it would somewhat affect their likelihood of seeking another job. Yikes!
This finding underscores the tremendous significance of time-off policies in overall job satisfaction and employee retention. Employers, take heed; flexibility in time-off requests could be the linchpin in retaining your top talent.

What justifies taking time off?

Ever ordered something online and anxiously awaited its arrival? Well, 20 per cent of respondents felt it was perfectly acceptable to request a day off when an important personal item was due to be delivered.
From Amazon packages to furniture deliveries, life's big moments deserve a spotlight too. Employers can demonstrate their understanding by allowing employees the freedom to prioritise such significant events.
Receiving a package
But wait, there's more! A delightful one in seven workers believed it was perfectly fine to take time off for routine errands like visiting the bank or the post office. In a world where convenience is king, these requests might not be as outlandish as they seem.
Additionally, 17 per cent of respondents thought it was reasonable to skip work due to a conflict or problem with a co-worker. It's like a grown-up version of "my dog ate my homework," and it highlights the evolving expectations of employees when it comes to work-life integration.
"People want flexibility, and they're not afraid to ask for it"
These survey results are like a snapshot of the ever-evolving world of office life. People want flexibility, and they're not afraid to ask for it. The age-old attendance game has some surprising winners, and the ethics of time-off requests are murkier than you'd think.
Employers, it's time to get creative with your time-off policies. The world of work is changing, and these insights are your backstage pass to keeping your team happy, motivated, and ready to tackle anything that comes their way. So, embrace the new normal of discretionary time off, and watch your workplace become a happier and more productive place for everyone.
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