Imagine you’re planning a family vacation. You’re looking forward to driving out of state to enjoy some time with your spouse and children, ready to take some time away from the stressful world you have come to know. You put in your request for vacation time and receive approval. Then, on the last day before you head out on the road, your boss pulls you into his office. He says, “Make sure to take your laptop with you. I don’t want you falling behind on emails, especially with the big project we’ve been working on.”
Have you ever encountered a boss like this? Thankfully, I haven’t – but I know plenty of people who have. Salary workers are especially likely to being subjected to this kind of expectation.
Assumptions that haven’t been discussed can be particularly dangerous in the workplace. A boss may expect an employee to respond to emails at all hours of the day. They may want someone who will work seven days a week. They may think that the employee should take on any and all projects in order to spend as much time working as possible.
They say that people don’t quit jobs; they quit bosses. This type of behavior is one of the top reasons that employees feel unappreciated and leave. Most people don’t live to work – they work to live. They don’t want to work 24/7 nor do they desire the expectation to be on call at all times.
Employers who think and act this way forget one key fact: people have lives outside of work. Time off of work should be exactly that – time off. People have families and kids’ baseball games. They are a part of book clubs and choirs. They volunteer and do community service. Allow your employees to go out and enjoy life. They will be much more appreciative and loyal when you do.