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Workers skipping vacations and missing chance to recharge: survey

Photo: spawns/iStockphoto

Arlington, VA — Around 2 out of 5 recently surveyed workers say they haven’t taken a vacation in the past year, even though time off work is “critical to productivity and mental health.”

Management consulting firm Eagle Hill Consulting commissioned a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. workers in February. Thirty-nine percent of the workers said they haven’t taken a vacation within the past 12 months. Lower-income employees (59%) and younger workers (43%) were most likely to report not taking time off.

The leading barriers to using vacation time were expense (45%), self-imposed pressure to keep pace with work (33%), heavy workload (29%), no colleagues to cover workload (29%) and lack of paid time off (23%).

Of the workers who took vacation, 27% said they monitored work email and messages while away.

Because worker burnout remains at high levels, “it’s vital that workers periodically and fully disconnect from the demands of the workplace,” Melissa Jezior, president and CEO of Eagle Hill Consulting, said in a press release. “This means not checking email and participating in virtual meetings during vacation.

“It’s not just employees who benefit from taking a break. Employers that encourage employees to take time off from work are far more likely to have an engaged workforce at its peak performance. Smart employers will foster a culture that enables employees to take vacations and fully unplug from their job pressures.”

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