As the pandemic draws to a semi-close, more and more managers are taking to the road to make up for lost time. After almost two years of being restricted, planning trips is more than its usual source of excitement for everyone. They need to break free from the “prison” that the rules have imposed on them. But in most cases, employers do not share the feelings of their managers, who see at the end of the pandemic frenzy that everyone can finally be physically at work and do their job just like in the “good old days” and that the company managers and owners can see this with their own eyes every day. This situation creates serious conflicts between employee and employer, even in the short term, but in the long term, the effect can lead to a clear break-up.
It is very important that leave must be fully reinterpreted by both parties; otherwise, non-communication can be fraught with serious dangers. Obviously, the issue depends on the economic sector and the position, but it is clear that the employer side has to give way now, because employees are extremely sensitive, and a “no” response at the wrong time can cause significant damage. Of course, this also includes the need for rules to be drawn up quickly on the issue of home versus office work, because these two issues are very closely linked. The majority of employers now give their key staff full freedom to take time off, showing that, yes, modern working conditions have changed, and the company is moving in a new direction. Obviously, they can do so because managers do not really take advantage of the situation, because especially after a “yes” answer, their loyalty is even more increased; they do not want to lose their job in such a doubtful period, even if the word is everywhere that it is easy to get a new job. In any case, for many, this summer and 2022 will be a serious test of where they see their future. Whether they will stay with their current company or move on to a newer, more open-minded venture. Strange as it may seem, it’s fair to say that never before has the employer’s response to a request for leave been so important.
The current process will not be short-lived, and it should not be assumed that a two-week holiday will solve everything. The need for people to take time off to deal with their personal lives has become a major focus, and this summer is also about redefining the work-life balance. Employers need to support this, giving time and space for these important decisions to be made. Key people need to be reassured that whatever decisions they make, the company is willing to find a way to continue to work together. We can already see that employers who not only accept leave requests but motivate their employees to take time off, do not have to reckon with the challenges of a disrupted HR market and can keep their professionals and managers safe. Moreover, thanks to home office solutions, there really is no difference today between being in the office and working virtually. For many jobs, at least.
Who will decide on their future by the end of the summer is something employers can certainly control and influence. And a very important element of this is a partnership in this summer’s holidays.