No surprises here: American workers need a vacation now more than ever.
And thanks to an improving economy, more workers are tending to that need this year, according to CareerBuilder’s annual vacation survey.
According to the survey of nearly 4,800 workers, 56 percent of workers say they are more in need of a vacation in 2010 than they have been in past years. With less anxiety over job stability and the economy, 36 percent say they feel more comfortable taking a vacation this year than they felt in 2009.
Not only are they more likely to take a vacation, but workers say they’re taking longer vacations, too, with 23 percent saying they plan to take a week off this year (up from 19 percent who said the same last year) and 12 percent will take off two weeks or more.
And while 21 percent of workers say they still can’t afford a vacation this year, that’s slightly less than 25 percent who said the same in 2009. (Hey, a slight decrease is still a decrease – we’ll take it!)
Beach BlackBerry Bingo
While employees are a little more lax about taking time away from the office, many still plan – and are expected by their bosses – to check in while they’re away:
- 49 percent of employers say they expect employees to check in with the office while they are away (down slightly from 50 percent who said the same last year)
- 37 percent indicated that checking in would only be necessary only if they are working on a big project or there is a major issue going on with the company (down from 40 percent who said the same last year)
- And where 28 percent of workers said they planned to contact the office during vacation regardless last year, slightly fewer workers – 25 percent – said the same this year.
Companies Need Employee Vacations, Too
Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, says that it is to a company’s benefit when workers take advantage of their vacation benefits. “Utilizing time off to recharge batteries is even more important today as staffs have shrunk over the last 18 months and workers are dealing with added responsibilities and pressure,” she says.
Now that it’s prime time to schedule some days off, help ensure that your employees’ time off is a true break from the office:
- Encourage your employees to take advantage of their vacation benefits. They’ll appreciate that you’re looking out for their best interests – and the time off…and that can only improve morale.
- Encourage your employees to check in with one another – If you are operating with smaller staffs, having more than one person out of the office can negatively impact productivity. Ask that your employees be flexible with one another and work together to schedule vacation time before booking anything.
- Encourage your employees to plan ahead – Give yourself – and your vacationing employees – peace of mind by planning for the unexpected. Before they leave, encourage your employees to start keeping a record of important information, key contacts and deadlines that will come up while they are gone and give it to a coworker they have trained to fill in for them while they are gone.
- Lead by example – If you are a supervisor, you should go through all the steps of planning and executing a successful vacation away from the office. That way, your workers will be more comfortable doing the same.