Workforce Watch List: Vacation habits

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Now that the country is finally thawing out (we hope) after the particularly brutal winter of 2014, vacation plans seem to be on everyone’s mind. Whether your ideal vacation involves the sand and surf of a tropical locale, a rugged camping expedition, a rejuvenating spa retreat, or simply a Game of Thrones marathon from the comfort of your couch, there’s no doubt you are ready to cash in some of your hard-earned PTO days. But the question is: how many Americans actually enjoy their paid time off to the fullest?

In February, Adecco surveyed 507 working American, age 18 years or older, about their vacation habits. The survey revealed that Americans put salary and work/life balance above all other career goals they’d like to accomplish in 2014. However, one quarter of Americans are unable to take all of their paid time off during the year. What’s even more unfortunate, many workers receive no paid time off at all. The United States is the only advanced economy in the world that does not guarantee its workers paid time off.

37 percent of working Americans who receive paid time off find themselves working or staying connected to work during their vacations. Expedia’s 2013 Vacation Deprivation Study, which compares vacation habits around the world, revealed an even higher percentage: 67 percent of Americans admit to checking email and voicemail on vacation. Sadly, a dismal 10 percent of Americans say they can never relax on vacation.

“We live in such a fast-paced, technology-driven world that it can be very difficult to completely unplug, even when we’re out of the office on personal time,” said Sherry Dixon, a senior vice president with Adecco. “The pressures and responsibilities of the job tend to follow us wherever we go, but it’s important to have balance so that you can enjoy the time you have. One way to do this is by establishing boundaries at work and appropriately planning staffing needs when one is going to be out of the office.”

According to our study, those who have had to work during their personal vacation time are much more likely to plan to come to work late or leave early when they know their boss is going to be out than those who completely unplug during their vacation time.

Why is this an important topic of discussion?

It’s no secret: research shows that the impact of taking a vacation has on one’s mental and physical health is profound. Taking time off to relax and recharge will ultimately increase your productivity, reduce stress and decrease the likelihood that you’ll burnout at work. That’s right, taking vacation will actually lead you to be more productive at work!

I don’t know about you, but that’s all the convincing I need to cash in every last one of my PTO days this year. Take some time, Americans – you’ve earned it – and start planning that vacation today!

What do you think about the data presented in this blog? Let us know your thoughts! Post a comment, Facebook us or Tweet us. Make sure to use the hashtag #watchlist.

Adecco is equipped to staff your team with workers that will meet and enhance the culture you’re nurturing with your team.  Whether you’re a large company or a small business, we have the resources and expertise you need to achieve success.

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