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A generation of workaholics – every second Pole works overtime, but new things are coming

Pokolenie pracoholików - co drugi Polak pracuje po godzinach, ale idzie nowe

Seasonal work. Discount stores are recruiting, but the big money is elsewhere

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Seasonal work. Discount stores are recruiting, but the big money is elsewhere

The fact that Poles cannot rest is also confirmed by the data on holidays. As much as 44 percent employees did not use all the rest they were entitled to last year, and one in ten did not take any time off at all. And although we are not able to reset the counter to 20 or 26 days off, most of us (66%) want to have even more of them.

– The mature labor market that, in my opinion, we are dealing with in Poland is characterized by dialogue between employees and employers. The achievements of the mutual exchange of expectations include, among others, extensive motivational programs. Both employees and employers are aware of the necessary benefit offer, the key component of which is medical care. The perspective is correct, but it needs to be expanded to include the issue of rest. Companies should answer the question of how they promote a healthy working environment and well-being at work, and whether they have included a leave policy in these activities. It is difficult to talk about the mental and physical health and productivity of an employee if he does not take time off, says Alina Smolarek, HR director at enel-med.

We work after hours…

According to Eurostat data, Poles work on average 40.5 hours a week, which is almost the most in the entire European Union, after Greeks. Diligence is also indicated by the results of the enel-med report "Health connects us", which show that only every third Pole does not work after hours (38%). Evenings, weekends and holidays are not time free from professional matters for as many as 56 percent. employees. This applies to almost the same extent to the least and the most experienced people – among Z-teams, 58%. works outside standard hours, and among silvers 56 percent

– In addition to promoting a healthy lifestyle and providing appropriate conditions for rest, it is also crucial to invest in modern technologies and improve work organization. A report by the Polish Economic Institute shows that productivity in medium-sized Polish companies is almost half of the EU average and three times lower than that of the best companies in Europe. Therefore, it is important to remember about work organization and tools that influence employee productivity. Lack of investment in these areas makes work less efficient, comments Alina Smolarek from enel-med.

…because we have to…

When we take a closer look at the reasons for working after hours, the most important factors are excess responsibilities or difficulty in meeting work hours (36 percent of responses). This is much more often a problem for women than for men (42% vs. 31%).

The employer's expectation came second (31%). This means that the latest report of the National Labor Inspectorate did not impress companies.

The report found that working time was one of the three most common areas of complaint. In 2022, 5.8 thousand employees faced, among others, failure to keep or unreliable records of working time, violation of the right to daily and weekly rest or incorrect creation of working time schedules.

…or we want to

It is worth noting that 24 percent Poles work in the evenings or on days off because they like such working hours and have the opportunity to do so. This is important because it indicates preferences and flexibility in organizing working time.

A change in the approach to working hours is also indicated by the fact that significantly more Zets (15%) than Silvers (6%) admit to dealing with private matters during working hours.

– The youngest employees do work in the evenings and on their days off on a similar scale to silver employees, but as the study shows, this is often because they deal with their private matters during standard working hours. These may be official or health topics, but also the pursuit of passions that are very important to them. For some employers, such a situation is unacceptable, but the more flexible ones can see the advantages of such work organization and skillfully use it to achieve results – explains Alina Smolarek.

Moreover, every tenth woman works in the evenings or on days off for fear of losing her job, while among silver workers this percentage is twice as low (5%). This may indicate a greater sense of job security among older workers or less pressure from potential job loss.

Too much vacation

Regular rest allows for regeneration, reduces the risk of burnout and improves overall job satisfaction. However, the enel-med report shows that only less than every second Polish employee uses all the leave he is entitled to during the calendar year (48%). Every third employee did not manage to fully use their 20 or 26 vacation days (35%) over the past year. Every tenth Pole (9%) does not take any holidays at all. Men lead this group (12%) compared to women (7%).

Employees with more experience cope better with taking a break from work than their younger colleagues – 55% respectively. and 46 percent of them "zeroed" their vacation counter last year. 38 percent silvers and 44 percent zetek only partially took advantage of the rest they were entitled to.

Not enough vacation time

At the same time, to the question "Would you like to increase the number of vacation days available today in accordance with applicable law?" the vast majority of Poles answer affirmatively. As many as 66 percent would like to have more days off than the current 20 or 26 days (depending on the length of service). Interestingly, this answer was given more often by Zets than by Silvers. The younger generation is more likely to think about additional rest than their older colleagues (70% vs. 63%).

The enel-med report shows that the vacation area may become a deciding factor when a candidate chooses a new job.

– It is worth considering the internal well-being program more broadly and changing the perspective on holidays. We can gain a market advantage if we create an environment in which clear rules encourage taking leave, not only at a time convenient for the employee, but also with the approval of the organization and the boss. Encouraging employees to take full leave, increasing leave limits, or subsidizing rest can be an important element that builds efficiency and satisfaction with the workplace – emphasizes Alina Smolarek, HR director at enel-med.

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