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Why it’s bad news that one-third of employees believe they are indispensable at work

Good human resourcing now means keeping spirits high in the office rather than filling the floor with indispensable souls

Research carried out by American watchdog Glassdoor has revealed that two-thirds of the workforce regularly continue their work during holidays; indeed, the working holiday is the new normal. When asked, one-third of the focus group stated that they were the only people in the workplace who could fulfil their tasks, with nobody capable of covering these tasks while they were away.

This should be a red flag for employers, who need to shift their focus to creating loyal employees from happy people. While it may seem as if having a sense of indispensability is positive for employees, the unnecessary stress caused by the heavy load can come back to bite recruiters and damage the company.

Good human resourcing now means keeping spirits high in the office rather than filling the floor with indispensable souls. Rather than feeling obliged to constantly work, your workforce should be reminded that downtime is just as indispensable for overall productivity. Here are some tips for letting your staff feel valued but not indispensable:

Train successively

No team member should be the only one with the skills and knowledge to fulfil their role. Rather than allowing one person to train in each task, create junior positions beneath each professional, making time for shadowing and building systems of buddying or teaming. In this way, there is always a junior training to be a senior; therefore, when the senior is off work, there will be someone to share the load.


Introducing new technology is often said to make staff feel replaceable; however, easing off tasks gives workers significant breathing room, making their positions less stressful. For staff whose management makes them aware that they are entitled to that extra freedom, automation has been proven to improve the quality of life of the workers and the efficiency of the whole team.

Keep to work hours

It is so easy to work overtime without even clocking the hours by simply working from home, on the train, while cooking, or while doing just about anything you can do with a phone in one hand; however, business hours are there for a reason, and sticking to them is good for your business. Working while on holiday is a pattern that needs to be phased out, with starting by keeping hours on a day to day basis encouraging clocking off and getting enough rest. Employees who disconnect from work find time to connect with their families and with themselves, keeping them feeling good and ready to work on Monday morning.

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