Most U.S. Workers Don't Take All Vacation Time

By: edited by Marguerite Jordan Email
By: edited by Marguerite Jordan Email

April 18

NEW YORK - More than half of U.S. workers fail to take all of their vacation days, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

Of the 56 percent who don't take advantage of all their allotted time, a third use half or less of their time off, according to a survey conducted for Hudson, the staffing and outsourcing arm of Hudson Highland Group, based in New York.

One in five said they planned to take only long weekends off rather than full vacations, the survey also showed.

Many workers could be reluctant to take all their vacation time after experiencing bouts of corporate downsizing when their jobs may have been at risk, said Peg Buchenroth, senior vice president of human resources at Hudson.

"A lot of people feel they can't take time off," she said. "Either they have too much work to do or they're just concerned about their job security so they don't want to be absent.

"Or the work environment and the company they work for isn't really supportive of people taking extended vacations," she said.

The survey said one third of respondents get less than a week of vacation time each year, 49 percent receive more than 11 annual vacation days and 13 percent get more than five weeks of vacation time, the survey showed.

One in four workers overall said their boss expects them to be accessible while they are on vacation, and that number rose to one in three among managers, it said.

It said 58 percent of workers return from vacation more relaxed than when they left, while 21 percent said they come back to the office more stressed.

A majority of 78 percent rated their employer highly in terms of flexibility in providing time off for personal matters.

The nationwide poll of 2,082 workers was conducted March 30 to April 2 and compiled by Rasmussen Reports LLC, an independent research firm. The margin of sampling error was about plus or minus 2.4 percent.

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