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Survey Results > Talent Management

Vacation Plans? Not This Year, At Least for 35 Percent of Workers

wallyCareerBuilder released its annual vacation survey yesterday, which revealed that, sadly, over a third of American workers don’t plan to take a vacation this year – naming lack of funds and feelings of guilt and anxiety as the reasons for staying home.

(On the upside, they’re sparing themselves the possible disappointment of making it all the way to Wally World only to find that it’s closed….Right?)

According to the survey of more than 4,400 workers:

  • 35 percent say they haven’t gone on or aren’t planning on taking a vacation in 2009.
  • Of those workers, 71 percent say they just can’t afford a vacation this year.
  • Another 20 percent of those workers indicate that they are either afraid of losing their jobs if they go on vacation or feel guilty being away from the office.

Even those who are taking vacations still plan on doing some work:

  • 50 percent of employers who responded to the survey expect their employees to check in with the office while they are away.
  • 40 percent, however, say it’s only necessary if an employee is working on a big project or there is a major issue going on with the company.
  • 28 percent of workers plan to contact the office at least once during their vacations, regardless of what they are working on.

While employee distress surrounding the current recession may be the reason they’re hesitant to take time off (even for a trendy, low-budget “staycation”), CareerBuilder’s vice president of human resources, Rosemary Haefner, says that’s exactly why workers should take time off. “Utilizing your time off is even more important now due to the added responsibilities and pressure that some workers may be faced with due to the current economic situation,” she says.

Managers should encourage employees to take advantage of their allotted vacation time.  “A break from work is essential for maintaining healthy productivity levels in the office,” Haefner says.  In fact, they can set a good example for their employees by taking a vacation and limiting their contact with the office. “Workers will feel much better getting away and enjoying themselves if they see the boss doing the same.”

What about you? Is forgoing vacation a trend you’re seeing at your workplace?

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.
13 comments
Oslo
Oslo

I think it is just as important to take daily vacations as it is to take extended vacations. A daily vacation for me entails:
1) Not bringing work home with me. If there's work to be finished, finish it at the office, if possible.
2) Change clothes as soon as you get home. Get out of those work clothes as quickly as possible.
3) Do things that will take your mind off of work. I know TV is seen pretty negatively in our society, but turning on Comedy Central or watching your favorite soap when you get home works wonders.
4) Work for yourself for a little while in the evening. Balance your checkbook or do some house cleaning. This is extremely therapeutic especially if these are things you've been putting off.
5) And finally have a beer and turn on some music that speaks to your soul.

If you are going to take an extended vacation though, i agree with Libby. The best are 3,4 and even 5 day weekends and visiting out of town friends is the way to go!

Oslo
Oslo

I think it is just as important to take daily vacations as it is to take extended vacations. A daily vacation for me entails:
1) Not bringing work home with me. If there's work to be finished, finish it at the office, if possible.
2) Change clothes as soon as you get home. Get out of those work clothes as quickly as possible.
3) Do things that will take your mind off of work. I know TV is seen pretty negatively in our society, but turning on Comedy Central or watching your favorite soap when you get home works wonders.
4) Work for yourself for a little while in the evening. Balance your checkbook or do some house cleaning. This is extremely therapeutic especially if these are things you've been putting off.
5) And finally have a beer and turn on some music that speaks to your soul.

If you are going to take an extended vacation though, i agree with Libby. The best are 3,4 and even 5 day weekends and visiting out of town friends is the way to go!

Deb
Deb

I am very fortunate that I can take a vacation.
I have for the past 15 years. The one thing my husband does is set aside a certain amount of money each paycheck. We do not touch it throughout the year. When we are ready to go, we have it. I have a good job, but this year, I even got a side cleaning job, due to the fact we have chosen a 12 day tour to Alaska. The trip, including spending money has been earned and I can quit the cleaning job after I return.

Most people do not manage their money throughout the year. Think about what you spend your money on.

If some would quit smoking and quit having those extra drinks in the evening, you could at least go away for a couple days. That stuff is not cheap!

Anyway, everyone have a great vacation this year. I know I will.

Deb
Deb

I am very fortunate that I can take a vacation.
I have for the past 15 years. The one thing my husband does is set aside a certain amount of money each paycheck. We do not touch it throughout the year. When we are ready to go, we have it. I have a good job, but this year, I even got a side cleaning job, due to the fact we have chosen a 12 day tour to Alaska. The trip, including spending money has been earned and I can quit the cleaning job after I return.

Most people do not manage their money throughout the year. Think about what you spend your money on.

If some would quit smoking and quit having those extra drinks in the evening, you could at least go away for a couple days. That stuff is not cheap!

Anyway, everyone have a great vacation this year. I know I will.

Cristina Jackson
Cristina Jackson

Our business is for sale. I am not taking any vacation because I could use the vacation pay when I am out of work. I will have plenty of days ahead of me when I lose my job.

Cristina Jackson
Cristina Jackson

Our business is for sale. I am not taking any vacation because I could use the vacation pay when I am out of work. I will have plenty of days ahead of me when I lose my job.

Kerri Puckett
Kerri Puckett

I absolutely think that vacation time is essential in keeping a healthy work life balance. Employees who take vacation are able to come back to the workforce refreshed as opposed to burnt out and operating out of fear within the scope of thier role. If you look at how several other highly productive countries operate, employees (as standard) get 20+ days holiday time per year as opposed to the American Standard 5-10. This is not healthy. If we increased vacation time to 20-25 days, then you would get an influx of appreciation for other cultures filtering back into the workplace and home life in the United States - in turn making our citizens more well rounded and in tune with the global society we are operating in. Americans get chastized overseas for not "venturing out more" - however most people who have a negative view of Americans overseas do not realize that with the 10 days holiday per year - it becomes an impossibility to travel the world as most other citizens do. After a long weekend around 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas - there is no time to do Europe and Asia and the Middle East and Australia with the 5-6 days we have remaining. I think it's a huge downfall in our society and I would hope for the generations to come that if we truly expect to become a globalized nation - that we would look at amending this within the workplace. The value to more holiday time would have multiple positive trickle down effects; only one of which would be a bolstered and more productive workforce, not to mention higher retention rates and lower turnover. I vote for more holiday/vacation time per year! And we should be allowed to take it!

Lori H.
Lori H.

Being an HR Manager, I feel vacations are important for everyone and calling into the office/logging into email, is not a way to enjoy your time off. If you are working on a big project - then postpone the vacation until you can actually enjoy it! I agree that managers should set the example by using their vacation time and encourage their workers to do the same. No time off often causes burn-out and lead to illnesses thus creating the need to use sick leave. No time off can cause employees to become disgruntled and unmotivated to give it their all when it comes to the job.

Lori H.
Lori H.

Being an HR Manager, I feel vacations are important for everyone and calling into the office/logging into email, is not a way to enjoy your time off. If you are working on a big project - then postpone the vacation until you can actually enjoy it! I agree that managers should set the example by using their vacation time and encourage their workers to do the same. No time off often causes burn-out and lead to illnesses thus creating the need to use sick leave. No time off can cause employees to become disgruntled and unmotivated to give it their all when it comes to the job.

Libby K. Skolnik
Libby K. Skolnik

Absolutely still taking vacations. I tend to take several short ones each year, finding that a 3/4 day weekend break every quarter keeps me refreshed and at my best!
Some of my vacation time this year will be spend at home with out of town guests. In this economy, visiting each other for vacation is a huge savings.

Libby K. Skolnik
Libby K. Skolnik

Absolutely still taking vacations. I tend to take several short ones each year, finding that a 3/4 day weekend break every quarter keeps me refreshed and at my best!
Some of my vacation time this year will be spend at home with out of town guests. In this economy, visiting each other for vacation is a huge savings.

Michael
Michael

I'm sure that this trend is part of what is causing the decrease in demand, which is pushing hotel prices to levels not seen in a very long time. For those of us who can still take a vacation, the travel deals are plentiful in almost every market.

Michael
Michael

I'm sure that this trend is part of what is causing the decrease in demand, which is pushing hotel prices to levels not seen in a very long time. For those of us who can still take a vacation, the travel deals are plentiful in almost every market.

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  1. [...] if you should take a vacation this summer season?  You’re not alone. According to a survey by CareerBuilder.com, 35% of American workers said they have not or would not be taking a vacation this year either [...]

  2. [...] * I spent an entire day complaining about how miserable I am because I had to come home from vacatio… [...]

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