Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Picking up the slack for a co-worker on leave

On the one hand, there are laws that allow workers to take family leave in an emergency, but how do co-workers feel about having to pick up the slack? And if they express resentment, how does it affect a decision to take the leave?

Picking up the slack for a co-worker on leave

On the one hand, there are laws that allow workers to take family leave in an emergency, but how do co-workers feel about having to pick up the slack? And if they express resentment, how does it affect a decision to take the leave?

Santa Clara University professor Justin Boren working with Shannon Johnson at James Madison University found that workers who overhear resentment messages feel reluctant to take time off. The situation is worsened if the messages are embedded within company culture, he said.

“The stress of trying to balance work life and family life is really exacerbated when colleagues say that you are letting the team down if you take  your legal or company-granted benefits,” said Boren, in a statement, referencing a national survey of 474 workers.

“Many workers feel that their inability to balance both work and life make them less-than-ideal employees, thereby exacerbating the effects of burnout,” said Boren. “This can lead to an unhealthy cycle of continuing work when the individual worker should make use of the leave policies they are entitled to.”

 I'm not sure about whether 474 workers constitutes a statistically significant sample, but you can read more about the study by clicking here.

Jane M. Von Bergen Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog

Jobbing covers the workplace – employment, unemployment, management, unions, legal issues, labor economics, benefits, work-life balance, workforce development, trends and profiles.

Jane M. Von Bergen writes about workplace issues for the Inquirer.

Married to a photographer she met at her college newspaper, Von Bergen has been a reporter since fourth grade, covering education, government, retailing, courts, marketing and business. “I love the specific detail that tells the story,” she says.

Reach Jane M. at jvonbergen@phillynews.com.

Jane M. Von Bergen Inquirer Staff Writer