No Fun In The Sun: Increasing Number Of Professionals Can’t Unplug On Vacation

Key Findings:

– Majority of workers (56 percent) connect with the office during break
– Professionals in New York, Charlotte, Los Angeles, Miami and Seattle check in the most; Cleveland and Minneapolis the least
– Seven in 10 millennials check in with the office, while majority of workers ages 55 and older fully disconnect on holiday
– Employees plan to take an average of 9 days off this summer, down from 10 in 2017

Summer is typically when workers take time off to relax and recharge. But just because employees take vacation days doesn’t mean they’re completely checking out, according to a new survey from staffing firm Accountemps. While 44 percent typically don’t check in at all with the office, the majority will. In fact, 70 percent of respondents ages 18 to 34 will maintain some contact with work compared to only 39 percent of those ages 55 and older.

Professionals plan to take an average of nine vacation days this summer, but the frequency of office check-ins varies by market. Here are highlights among the 28 cities included in the poll:

  • Never out of office: Nashville, Dallas and Los Angeles lead in terms of the number of workers who plan to take no summer vacation.
  • Checking in constantly: Employees in New York, Charlotte, Los Angeles, Miamiand Seattle are most likely to connect with the office at least several times a week.
  • Leaving town and never looking back: Professionals in Cleveland, Minneapolis, Denver, Philadelphia and Salt Lake City are best at disconnecting from work while out of office.

View an infographic of workers’ summer vacation habits by city. Data tables of the research by age and gender are also available.

Findings from similar surveys show employees are more connected to the office than ever: In 2016, a majority of workers (59 percent) said they never check in while on vacation; that number fell to 47 percent in 2017 and 44 percent this year.

Michael Steinitz, executive director for Accountemps, gives insight into the trend. “Employees need time away from work to rest, relax and recharge. Yet for an increasing number of people, totally disconnecting from the office can have the reverse effect and add stress,” he said.

“Some workers enjoy greater peace of mind when they allow themselves to check in a few times — but not much more than that — while on vacation,” Steinitz added. “Doing so confirms that all is well, which allows them to stop worrying and focus on relaxing instead.”

About the Research
The survey was developed by Accountemps and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 2,800 workers in 28 U.S. markets.

About Accountemps
Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has 325 locations worldwide. More resources, including job search services and the company’s blog, can be found at


SOURCE Accountemps

Here’s what you need to know about business-related insurance, says Russ McEachnie

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New five-week Employment Insurance parental sharing benefit one month away

Supporting parents and young families has always been a priority for the Government of Canada. That is why the Government will introduce the Employment Insurance parental sharing benefit.

Today, at the Armadale Community Centre, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced that in less than a month, soon-to-be parents will be eligible to receive extra weeks of parental benefits. In an effort to encourage more parents to share the work of raising their children more equally, the Government of Canada will launch the parental sharing benefit on March 17, 2019.

The new measure will be available to parents, including adoptive or same-sex parents, for a child born or placed for the purpose of adoption on or after March 17, 2019—as long as they are eligible for and share their Employment Insurance parental benefits. When parents agree to do so, they will benefit from one of the following:

  • 5 additional weeks of parental benefits when choosing the standard option; or
  • 8 additional weeks for those who choose the extended option

Corresponding changes to the Canada Labour Code will also be made to ensure that federally regulated private-sector employees have the right to take leave while receiving the new parental sharing benefits without fear of losing their job.


“As we’ve seen in Quebec, and in other jurisdictions that have implemented similar policies, this type of benefit has been proven to encourage a more balanced sharing of child care responsibilities. This new measure will help us break down barriers to gender equality by making it easier for mothers to return to work sooner if they wish, reducing the wage gap between women and men, and helping Canadians spend more time with their families.”

– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

‎”Modernizing parental leave will help more women participate in the economy while encouraging two-parent families to share in the responsibilities and joys of raising children. The families of MarkhamThornhill will benefit from more time spent with their children and all Canadians will benefit from yet another progressive policy that is making life easier for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.”

– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, and Member of Parliament for MarkhamThornhill

Quick Facts

  • Up to 97,000 Canadian parents are expected to claim the parental sharing benefit per year.
  • Since it was launched in December 2017, more than 32,000 parents established a claim for extended parental benefits, higher than the anticipated 20,000 claims per year.
  • In 2016-17, women represented 85 percent of all parental benefits claims made, indicating that child care duties continue to fall heavily on mothers.
  • In 2017, in large part due to the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan, 81 percent of spouses or partners of recent mothers in Quebec claimed or intended to claim parental benefits, compared to only 12 percent in the rest of Canada.

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

Half of CDN’s check their work emails while on vacation; 72% for Millennials

Half of CDN’s check their work emails while on vacation; 72% for Millennials

Canada NewsWire

So much for getting away from it all. A new study shows half of Canadians say they check their office emails while travelling on vacation. Of those, 24 per cent say they do so at least once, if not several times, each day.

The results were gathered in a survey of Canadian travellers by Allianz Global Assistance Canada, a leading provider of travel insurance and assistance services, which asked Canadians about their travel habits.

The Ipsos survey also revealed that men are the most likely to check their work emails, with 54 per cent responding affirmatively versus 44 per cent of women. However, the greatest differences were associated with age. Some 72 per cent of Millennials say they check their work emails while on vacation, compared with 42 per cent of GenXers and 32 per cent of Baby Boomers.

When asked if they chronicled their trip on social media, 44 per cent of Canadians answered ‘yes,’ led by Millennials at 67 per cent, followed by GenXers at 48 per cent and Boomers at just 22 per cent.

Exaggerated Vacation Pics

“Posting vacation photos is not entirely unexpected, but it was surprising to learn from the study that nearly three in 10 Canadians (27%) admit to posting photos that make their vacation look better than it actually is,” says Dan Keon, Vice President, Market Management, Allianz Global Assistance Canada. “Once again, Millennials led the way with 50 per cent of them admitting they post ‘better-than-reality’ photos compared to 26 per cent of GenXers and only 7 per cent of Boomers.”

A similar survey was conducted in the summer of 2018 by Allianz Global Assistance USA, and a comparison seems to indicate that Canadians may be more deceptive with their vacation posts. While 50 per cent of Canadian Millennials admitted to deceptive posts, only 36 per cent of American Millennials claimed they did so, while 26 per cent of Canadian GenXers said they post better-than-reality photos, only 15 per cent of American GenXers claimed they did the same.

“This is the third year for our Winter Vacation Confidence Index, but the first time we have polled Canadians about their use of social media while travelling,” adds Keon. “Beyond capturing and sharing amazing travel memories, our smartphones are a valuable aid in a travel emergency. Our assistance centre in Kitchener, ON, receives approximately two million calls every year from Canadian travellers in need of medical or travel assistance. Having your smartphone available while travelling makes it that much easier to reach us if an emergency unexpectedly arises. Travellers with smartphones can also benefit from our free TripWise app, which provides users with a number of helpful features including phone numbers for local emergency services, a GPS locator for nearby medical providers, flight status tracker, and more.”

The findings of the Canadian Winter Vacation Confidence Index are the result of an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Allianz Global Assistance Canada. A total of 2,005 surveys were completed among Canadian adults between October 23 and October 29, 2018.  A survey of this size is considered accurate within plus-or-minus 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Allianz Global Assistance (Canada)

For 30 years, Allianz Global Assistance has supported travelling Canadians when they need it most with value-added travel insurance and assistance services. More than 800 employees support long-term partnerships with some of the best known brands in the travel and financial services markets. Allianz Global Assistance also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call centre services and claims administration for health insurers, property and casualty insurers and credit card companies. Allianz Global Assistance is a specialist brand of Allianz Partners for assistance and travel insurance, and is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc. and AZGA Insurance Agency Canada Ltd. For more information, visit

Allianz Partners

Dedicated to bringing global protection and care, Allianz Partners is the B2B2C leader in assistance and insurance solutions in the following areas of expertise: assistance, international health & life, automotive and travel insurance. These solutions, which are a unique combination of insurance, service and technology, are available to business partners or via direct and digital channels under four commercial brands: Allianz Assistance, Allianz Care, Allianz Automotive and Allianz Travel.

This global family of over 19,000 employees is present in 78 countries, speaks 70 languages and handles 54 million cases per year, protecting customers and employees on all continents.

For more information, please visit:

SOURCE Allianz Global Assistance Canada

2 Ways to Stop an Office Bully (and How to Tell If It’s You)

By Wanda Thibodeaux

As much as professionals encourage each other to be nice, bullies are as easy to find in the office as they are on playgrounds. In fact, according to a 2017 survey from the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), bullying affects an “epidemic-level” 60.3 million American workers, with 9 percent of surveyed individuals saying they’ve experienced it in the last year or are currently going through it.

It might have many roots, but it’s no accident.

The problem, according to Niels Eék, psychologist and co-founder of mental wellbeing and self-development platform, Remente, can happen for a range of reasons, including personal insecurity. But Johnny Warström, CEO and Co-founder of interactive presentation tool Mentimeter, also points out that, according to a Harvard Business Review study, bosses who place a high value on their place in the hierarchy are likely to bully their employees that pose a threat to their status.

Bullying isn’t random,” Eék says, “but is calculating behavior […]. Focused on getting ahead, bullies exploit the weaknesses of others for their own gain, and many studies show that they tend to excel at office politics, allowing them to keep their jobs despite their behavior.”

And none of it bodes well for a company’s bottom line.

Workplace bullying can have a huge effect […], thrwarting company loyalty and commitment to the firm and their work,” Eék asserts. “People who are victims of bullying lose motivation due to feelings of isolation, unfair treatment and low self-esteem. This affects productivity and creates a hostile work environment, which has been linked to a rise in sick leave, staff turnover and costs to recruit and train new employees.”

And to clarify, the sick leave isn’t just people calling in because they don’t want to deal with the bully. Being a victim can cause real physical and psychological health problems, including panic attacks, increased stress and elevated blood pressure.

“[It] makes it near impossible to create a supportive and inclusive culture in which teams thrive,” says Warström. “Inevitably, performance is affected as people lose self-esteem and have trouble making decisions and concentrating on tasks. This is bound to impact company goals as employees struggle to perform at their best.”

What to do if someone else is the bully

Transparency can be your best weapon in the fight to keep bullying in check, according to Warström.

“By creating a culture where people are encouraged to address conflict and provide feedback immediately and directly – regardless of your status within the company – one is able to nip hostility in the bud and foster an environment where everyone’s voice is heard. This includes senior leaders openly admitting their shortcomings and taking steps to address them by incorporating feedback from their teams to do better.”

Eék similarly recommends clear communication and addressing the bully directly.

“[Try] the ‘when you said x, it made me feel x, and therefore x action happened’ method,” he advises. “It’s absolutely essential that you stand up for yourself and try to address the root cause, because bullies prey on those they think will let them get away with their behavior.”

What to do if the bully is you

Only a tiny percentage of people surveyed by WBI (0.3 percent, or 533,332 people) admitted to bullying. After all, most people want to assume that they are likeable, warm and fair. But Warström and Eék both say there are big warning signs that you’re coming off as a bully to others.

  • Nobody speaks up in your meetings (suggests that workers are afraid to voice their opinions around you)
  • Workers don’t look you in the eye
  • Employees consistently get advice elsewhere
  • You find yourself talking at employees, not to them; it’s difficult to receive feedback/suggestions and you prefer to give orders instead of working together for the best result
  • You interrupt others instead of actively listening
  • You blame others for mistakes instead of focusing on solutions

“To identify the reasons you bully, assess your habits and the trigger points,” says Eék. “Once you know where it comes from, it will become easier to manage. Then try to gain control of the situation by taking deep breaths or removing yourself from the situation until you can come back with a clear and calmer mindset. Finally, set yourself a manageable goal, such as complimenting one colleague per day or having regular check-ins with your team that include constructive feedback. If you think that you are struggling to move on by yourself, then do this with a trustworthy mentor.”

Regardless of who perpetrates, the bottom line is clear: Bullying is a choice, and at the end of the day, only the bully or your business can survive. Today is the day you ensure it’s the latter.

Pario Welcomes Andrew Brown to Calgary Office

Press Release:

Pario Engineering & Environmental Sciences LP (Pario), one of Canada’s top providers of specialized engineering and environmental services to the insurance and risk management industries, is pleased to announce the addition of Mr. Andrew Brown as Regional Manager, Western Canada (Forensic).

Mr. Brown comes to Pario after spending over 38 years providing consultation and forensic investigation for the electrical engineering and scientific fields. During his career, he has been involved in large scale electrical investigations, remediation, electrical accident investigation, application of high voltage techniques, and has managed numerous forensic, consulting, and testing teams operating across Canada, Europe, and America. Mr. Brown’s areas of expertise include electrical failure investigation, fire & explosion, bio mechanical, collision reconstruction, industrial accidents, and slip, trip & fall. forensic and Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA), high-voltage electrical engineering, and leadership.

Mr. Brown holds a Higher Technician Diploma (HND) and a Forensic Sciences Diploma. Further, Mr. Brown is registered with the Engineering Council (UK) as a Chartered Engineer (C.Eng),is a Registered European Engineer (EUR ING), andis a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers (SM IEEE) active on developing a number of IEEE standards. Mr. Brown also holds his IOSH Managing Safely Certificate (UK), JEHSC certification (Canada), and OSHA certification (US).

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Mr. Brown to the Pario team,” says Martin Grech, Senior Vice President of National Operations for Pario. “Mr. Brown’s specialized experience makes him an excellent addition to our roster of specialists. He will be building our Western Engineering team in order to offer our clientele in the region a continued focus on exceptional customer service.”

Based out of Pario’s Calgary location, Mr. Brown can be contacted at 403 228 5800 or cell 403 478 9482, or by email at

For more information, please contact:

Len Copp
T: 780.930.5190
Bikram Daulay
Senior Vice President, Business Development
T: 780.930.5321

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