Americans Aren’t Vacationing as Much as They Could

August 28, 2014 by No Comments



Everyone looks forward to their vacation time — or do they? According to a recent Glassdoor survey, about 50% of Americans no longer opt to use all their company vacation time. A significant minority — 15% — don’t use any of their vacation time at all. And when it comes to actually going on vacation, not everyone feels free to get away from the job — one in five report still talking to their boss while on vacation leave.

There are several reasons for this un-relaxing trend among the American workforce, and most of the reasons relate back to the perception of dependability. Many people report feeling like their employer doesn’t really want them to take time off, and in an effort to increase job security, people are also looking for ways to make themselves “indispensable.”

Less job assurance in America has led to something that the study calls the “work martyr complex.” As much as employees may want to spend more time with family and friends, they also want to avoid being someone cut during yet another round of layoffs and budget cuts.

In a recent report from the U.S. Travel Association, 15% of employers did view employees who took less than their allotted vacation time as “more dedicated.” While employers might see gained productivity as a benefit, ultimately, a lack of vacation time hurts both employer and employee in the long run. Burnt-out employees contribute to high department turnover rates, experience drops in long-term productivity, and exhibit poorer health.

America might consider taking cues from other countries around the world. In Quebec, Canada, employees are entitled to receive two weeks of vacation time, and they receive 4% vacation pay. Austria has a legal minimum of 22 paid vacation days every year. By contrast, the U.S. is the only developed country that does not legally require any vacation time.

Is change possible? Perhaps. Many employers are rethinking old time-off policies as a way to not only incentivize current workers, but in order to recruit the best and brightest batch of new employees.

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