The summer vacation period has arrived, and, despite corona, many people still take some time off to celebrate a vacation (in their backyards). Although for some employees, ‘vacation’ means completely disconnecting from work, this is not the case for everyone: one-third of employees say they are available for work during their vacation. Due to the increased usage of mobile technology in the workplace, staying in touch with your employer and colleagues in an accessible way has become easier. And an employee app installed on your employees’ smartphones further simplifies quickly connecting during employees’ spare time.
Many people choose to stay connected to their organization during their vacation. Research by Gallup shows that some employees feel the need to stay connected and stay productive during their vacation. They might do it because they feel responsible for their work and for important projects that would come to a stop if they did not stay connected. But they also like to stay informed about what is going on within the organization, so they know what happened during their absence and will not be surprised upon their return.
Organizations like to keep employees in the loop by sending short emails. However, email is not the right way to approach employees during their time off, Maura Thomas, a specialist in productivity and work-life balance, writes for Harvard Business Review. If organizations send emails to their employees during their holidays, they will indeed keep their staff or colleagues informed. But, indirectly, they also express an expectation that employees must respond (even if they only receive a cc). The sender of the email may not have expected a response. However, suppose employees or managers do not explicitly state they do not expect their colleague to respond during their leave. In that case, an email is a personal message to which employees are accustomed to replying. So, although they are on vacation, they will feel the urge to respond. Even if all they wanted was to stay up to speed about what is going on at work.
Work hard, play hard?
Indeed, some employees choose to only check in once in a while, so that they stay updated on everything going on at work. They dread overwhelming backlogs or huge mountains of information they must read when they return to work. In this case, when they choose to remain connected during their vacation, they will have a higher peace of mind, which ultimately leads to them enjoying their well-earned leave just a bit more. In addition, occasionally checking in means, they will not be surprised when they return to work – they will immediately recognize their new colleague from Sales because they have already seen his photo during their leave.
Inform without expectations
A great way to avoid unconsciously raising the expectation of a reply, is to avoid using email and trying different communication channels. For example, an employee app offers an easy and accessible way to keep employees up to date with the latest important news at any time, from anywhere, without hindering employees. Even from a hammock in the backyard, employees will still be connected to the organization and the work floor without feeling obliged to answer. If they have a few minutes left or want to dedicate some time reading corporate information, they can open the app at their convenience and read through the latest news.
Additionally, the app offers the possibility to respond to messages through likes and comments. This way, the app is a platform for social interaction. Employees who would like to comment on certain information can easily do so; from even having to open their email. On top of that, genuinely important information can be sent via push notifications, informing your employees quickly and efficiently with news they should read immediately. And that news is always relevant to them: the app also enables you to target particular audience groups with specific information. This way, they can be sure that if they open the app in their spare time, they will not be wasting that time reading unimportant, irrelevant information. Talk about enjoying your vacation to the max!
This summer, you will be able to keep your staff informed of what is going on at work efficiently and discreetly. However, there are several important things to consider when you purchase an employee app. Download our free infographic ‘11 things to consider when purchasing an employee app’ to make the right choice. Would you like personal advice about the possibilities within your organization? Get in touch with us; we would be happy to help you!