Have You Taken a Vacation Day Lately?
Have you noticed that you’ve taken more vacation time over the last couple of years? Great! And you’re not alone. More folks like you saw a rise in their vacation time by an average of 16.8 days. That made it the second year of growth after bottoming out in 2014 at 16.0 days.
So you may ask what’s all the fuss about?
Well, if you’re in the group that’s improved you can pat yourself on the back and…
But if you happened to have left some of your vacation time on the table you’re not alone.
Sadly, 54 percent of Americans still did not use all their vacation time last year. These workers left a collective 662 million vacation days on the table.
Hopefully this year you will not be included in the “No Vacation Zone”
No Vacation Zones
The map above from research by Project: Time off shows states where workers leave the most vacation time on the table. Is your state listed?
Idaho with 78 percent of its workers leaving vacation time unused in 2016, outpaced the national average of 54 percent. New Hampshire, Alaska and South Dakota followed.
Vacation Day Blues
Many American workers expressed reasonings that could be likened to a martyr syndrome. When it comes to time off their reasons collectively for not doing so included:
- Need to show complete dedication to their job
- Feel their company culture does not promote time off
- Worry that they would appear replaceable
- Worry about what their boss thinks about time off
- Acute anxiety about taking vacation
- Cost of taking a vacation (Alaska ranked it as their top barrier)
- Mountainous workload too much to take time off from and too much to return to (South Dakota especially)
- Fear they would lose consideration for a raise or promotion if they took time off (South Dakota only one)
California’s No Vacation Day Cities
Three California metro areas are included in the top ten cities for unused vacation. San Francisco is the city most challenged by workload, with 62 percent saying the mountain of work they would return to stopped them from taking time off, 19 percentage points more than average. Los Angeles workers have greater fear about what their boss would think of them taking time off (27% to 18%).
Riverside-San Bernardino workers are more likely than average to feel that no one else can do the work if they go away (46% to 34%), second only to St. Louis (50%).
Top Vacationed Cities in the United States
The main concern for U.S. workers over all is the mountain of work waiting for their return. But not so for the top five cities using the most vacation time including Pittsburgh, Chicago, Phoenix, Orlando, and Miami. For them, that mountainous pile of work does not hinder them from planning their vacation time.
Other results of top cities with vacationing workers include:
- Top spot Pittsburgh workers who felt less anxious about taking a vacation.
- Phoenix workers who were not as concerned about appearing less dedicated to the job.
- Fun loving Orlando workers who enjoyed a more positive vacation culture in companies that encourage taking time off.
Overcoming the Martyr Syndrome
American workers’ martyr syndrome combined with a corporate culture of silence where negative perceptions thrive is the vacation killing culprit. As a result employees feel chained to their workstations rather than free to recuperate from the stresses of the job.
The top barriers for employees include:
- Return to a mountain of work, 43%
- No one else can do the job, 34%
- Taking time off is harder with seniority, 33%
- I cannot financially afford a vacation, 32%
- Want to show complete dedication, 26%
Even though senior business leaders overwhelmingly recognize the importance of using time off, their message is often muddled, silenced or they simply discourage using their time off. As a result negative perceptions flourish unchanged since 2014.
Rejuvenating Power of a Vacation
Yet despite all this, American workers do recognize the rejuvenating power of a vacation. They return to work relaxed and recharged. Nearly two-thirds of employees say their concentration and productivity at work improve with taking time off. This sentiment is echoed by senior business leaders. In fact, 91 percent of business leaders believe employees return from vacation recharged and renewed—and ready to work more effectively.
Time to ProActively Plan Your Next Vacation
When they do take them, American workers also tend to take longer vacations. While three-in-four (75%) planners take a week or more at a time, non-planners take significantly fewer days—zero to three—than planners at once (42% to 18%).
According to the “State of American Vacation 2017” the solution is better planning. When you have set planned time aside to for a vacation you are more likely to actually use it.
Without a plan you are more likely to take significantly fewer days- from as few as three days to none!
Planners are Happier
Not only are you more likely to actually take a vacation your whole attitude becomes cheerier. Planners are report greater happiness than non-planners with their relationships, health and well-being, company, and job. Professional happiness among planners is reinforced by workplace cultures and bosses that encourage and support their vacation planning.
To help you with your planning here is a link directly to our Abalone Bay Availability Calendar:
Just match your dates with that of our calendar and you’ll have taken the first step towards a new you!