What is leavism? Do you know how to stop working after your working hours or during your annual leave? Have you ever had to catch up with your work after your working hours? Have you ever had to solve problems occurring at work, while you were on holiday abroad? Have you ever had to take annual leave to heal the sickness or to take care of the child? This is leavism. What are the consequences of leavism for the workplace, and what could you do as an employer to stop its development?

What is leavism and how to stop it?

  1. What is leavism?
  2. Leavism – where it came from
  3. How to stop leavism?
  4. Summary

What is leavism?

Leavism is when employees use their annual leave or other breaks from work differently than it was designed, meaning, not for resting. The research made by CIPD in 2021 shows that 70% of employers have observed some type of leavism among their employees.

Finding the balance between work and private life becomes a problem for a large proportion of the population. It means that employers should not ignore this phenomenon, which can have negative consequences for the employed individual. Not only efficiency, and creativity, but motivation and everyday well-being suffer because of leavism.

Leavism – where it came from

Leavism is a phenomenon related to the, already known presenteeism, which is any form of staying at work longer than it is necessary. This type of conduct is not a result of an excess of duties (and does not result in calculating paid overtime), but a result of a desire to please, willingness to show engagement, and need to impress the supervisor.

It can be stated that leavism is a result of obligation and duty and the belief that one should show commitment. It has been observed for a long time that there are negative consequences of such behavior. It is usually the loss of productivity due to the lack of proper rest.

The roots of this phenomenon must be sought in the significant workload, as well as fear of losing a job, and in the permanent accessibility, that stems from the fact that many jobs today require us to have a computer and Internet connection. Answering calls and responding to e-mails on holidays has become a norm for many people.

How to stop leavism?

Regular feedback meeting

What is the easiest way to check the employee burden? One has to build an organizational culture that is based on honest, mutual communication, especially during feedback meetings. Broaching the subject of leavism (or more broadly: physical and mental well-being) in conversation allows to can help the employee to become aware of the dangers, as well as to spot the first symptoms and protect himself from the negative consequence of the fully-blown stage of leavism.

What is more, the supervisor can control, using the high-tech information systems that support everyday work, the real working hours of the given person (which is crucial when flexible working time is involved), as well as to check, how to leave is used.

Benefits and training for the wellbeing

The very first step to success is building the right type of awareness. The results are not to be seen quickly, but you can support the whole process by providing free psychological help for your employees or by organizing training (about professional burnout, presenteeism, leavism, and depression, as well as the other issues related to mental health).

Such activities are a necessary component of the creation of a work environment that is based on mutual support and great employee-employer relations, as well as cooperation between employees. Showing that the company takes care of the mental and physical well-being of the employees can change a lot.

Redistribution of work

Do your talk to your employees about their tasks for the coming week during the regular meetings with the team? Ask yourself, if have you ever asked them if they need help, need support, or are afraid that they may not be able to meet the deadline. Accurate and honest discussion about the list of tasks can be a challenge for an employee, but offering help with the division of work can be a great support for the stressed-out employee.

You just have to remember about the clear communication in this area and you should not suggest to your employee that somebody else can do their work better or that they demonstrate a lack of efficiency. Try to develop a culture of cooperation and support in the team due to shared responsibility for the achieved results.

The well-established redistribution of work can be particularly important after longer inactivity. The employees are usually afraid of heavy workloads after the holiday. The provision of the replacement of the employee during leave should give them greater inner peace during their rest.



The well-known saying is that it is better to be safe than sorry and this is no different in the case of leavism. Among the consequences of the inability to keep up the balance between private and professional life can enlist: reduced mental state, lower productivity, limited creativity, and in the long-term: professional burnout, depression, or poor relations with family, friends, and partners. The employee in such a situation is not an added value to the team effort. It is important to provide work-life balance at work, which can be done by using the above-mentioned hints.

Read also: How to reduce digital stress working remotly

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What is leavism? 3 smart ways to stop it nicole mankin avatar 1background

Author: Nicole Mankin

HR manager with an excellent ability to build a positive atmosphere and create a valuable environment for employees. She loves to see the potential of talented people and mobilize them to develop.