Climbing the corporate ladder is an aspiration for many Australian workers. The increase in responsibilities, not to mention in pay, makes job promotion an alluring goal across all industries. But a new survey by Budget Direct Travel Insurance has found that chasing promotions might come at a cost, as senior employees tended to have an inferior work life balance.

The survey had a sample size of 1,000 employees, weighted to be representative of the Australian workforce for adults aged 18+. Of the 1,000 surveyed, 184 said their job level was ‘Casual’, 198 said their job level was ‘Junior’, 399 said their job level was ‘Senior’, 193 said their job level was ‘Management’, and 31 said they were a ‘CEO’.

Worked on their last holiday

Rank Industry % Worked last holiday
#1 Management 75.6%
#2 CEO 71%
#3 Senior 50.4%
#4 Casual 42.4%
#5 Junior 38.9%

Felt restricted by work commitments for when they could take their leave

Rank Industry % That felt restricted
#1 Management 62.7%
#2 Senior 56.6%
#3 Junior 53.5%
#4 CEO 45.2%
#5 Casual 40.2%

Happy with the amount of paid leave

Rank Industry % Happy with the amount of leave
#1 CEO 58.1%
#2 Casual 49.5%
#3 Management 46.1%
#4 Junior 40.9%
#5 Senior 36.3%

Took all of their paid holidays

Rank Industry % That took all of their paid leave
#1 CEO 51.6%
#2 Junior 49.5%
#3 Management 49.2%
#4 Senior 47.9%
#5 Casual 47.3%

Made to feel guilty for taking leave by a manager or colleague

Rank Industry % Made to feel guilty
#1 Junior 10%
#2 Senior 8.2%
#3 Management 7.1%
#4 Casual 4.1%
#5 CEO 0%

Didn’t get their leave approved

Rank Industry % Didn't get their leave approved
#1 Casual 14.4%
#2 Senior 9.6%
#3 Junior 7%
#4 Management 4.1%
#5 CEO 0%

Were forced to take leave

Rank Industry % Were forced to take leave
#1 Management 57%
#2 Senior 54.9%
#3 Junior 50.5%
#4 Casual 47.8%
#5 CEO 38.7%

Checked their work email while on holiday

Rank Industry % That checked emails on holiday
#1 CEO 71%
#2 Management 71%
#3 Senior 48.6%
#4 Casual 47.8%
#5 Junior 43.4%

Couldn’t switch off from work while on holiday

Rank Industry % Couldn't switch off from work on holiday
#1 Junior 64.1%
#2 Senior 62.9%
#3 Casual 60.3%
#4 Management 44.8%
#5 CEO 43.6%

Were emailed or texted while on holiday

Rank Industry % That were emailed or texted on holiday
#1 Management 75.1%
#2 Hospitality 59.4%
#3 Healthcare 57.6%
#4 Finance 55.4%
#5 Construction/Trade 48.4%

Casual

Pros

  • Second least likely to work on their last holiday - 42.4%
  • Least likely to feel restricted for when they could take leave - 40.2%

Cons

  • Least likely to take all of their paid leave - 47.3%
  • Most likely to avoid taking leave because they felt guilty - 9.3%
  • Least likely to get their leave approved - 14.4% not approved

Junior

Pros

  • Least likely to work on their last holiday - 38.9%
  • Second most likely to take all of their paid leave - 49.5%
  • Least likely to check work emails while on holiday - 43.4%
  • Most likely to be able to switch off from work - 64.1%

Cons

  • Most likely to have been made to feel guilty by a manager or colleague for taking leave - 10%

Management

Pros

  • Most likely to delete access to their work emails while on holiday - 22.3%

Cons

  • Most likely to work on their last holiday - 75.6%
  • Most likely to be unable to rely on their team or colleagues to get work done - 6.2%
  • Most likely to feel restricted for when they could take leave - 62.7%
  • Second most likely to avoid taking leave because they felt guilty - 6.1%
  • Most likely to be forced to take leave - 57%
  • Equal most likely to check work emails while on holiday - 71%
  • Most likely to be contacted by a manager or colleague while on holiday - 75.1%

CEO

Pros

  • Second least likely to feel restricted for when they could take leave - 45.2%
  • Most likely to think 4 weeks is enough paid leave in a year - 58.1%
  • Most likely to take all of their paid leave - 51.6%
  • Least likely to have been made to feel guilty by a manager or colleague for taking leave - 0%
  • Most likely to have their leave approved - 0% not approved
  • Least likely to be forced to take leave - 38.7%
  • Least likely to be contacted by a manager or colleague while on holiday - 48.4%

Cons

  • Second most likely to work on their last holiday - 71%
  • Equal most likely to check work emails while on holiday - 71%
  • Least likely to delete access to work emails while on holiday - 6.5%
  • Least likely to be able to switch off from work - 51.6%

Summary

From this data, it appears that the more responsibility people take on in a role and the higher up the corporate ladder they climb, the more their work life balance suffers. This trend tapers off once someone reaches the position of CEO, at which point restrictions on their work life balance seem to drop off dramatically. Accordingly, if you’re going to aim high, your best option appears to be aiming for the top job, otherwise that promotion you’ve been chasing might not be worth it.

Disclaimer

This survey was conducted by Pure Profile on behalf of Budget Direct in October 2018. All figures are from this research unless stated otherwise. The survey was conducted online with a total sample size of 1,000 weighted and representative of all Australian adults (aged 18+).

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