Bosses Get Away While Workers Stay

June 21, 2012 ( - Bosses are finding more time for getaways than their workers, according to a survey.

CareerBuilder found 81% of managers have taken or plan to take vacation this year, compared to 65% of full-time employees.

While the number of American workers who have already taken or plan to take a vacation is up from 61% in 2011, the number of vacationers falls well below pre-financial crisis levels. In 2007, 80% of full-time workers went on vacation or expected to take a vacation that year.

However, the number of workers that can afford a vacation has increased. One in five workers (19%) said they can’t afford to go on vacation, which is down from 24% in 2011. An additional 12% of workers say they can afford vacations, but have no plans to take one, consistent with past years.

Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, suggests that managers encourage their workers to use paid time off. Last year, 15% of workers reported they gave up vacation days last year because they didn’t have time to use them.

“Workers who maximize vacation time are less likely to burn out and more likely to maintain productivity levels,” Haefner said. “Heavy workloads and financial constraints can make it difficult to get away from work, but even if you’re not traveling far from home, a few days away can have a very positive impact on your health and happiness.”

Many employees have missed out on vacations due to their job. Twenty-three percent of workers say they once had to work while the family went on vacation without them.

Those who are able to travel are not often free from work. Three in ten workers contact their office during their vacation. More than a third of managers (37%) say they expect their employees to check-in while on vacation, although most say only if the employee is involved in a big project or major issue going on with the company.

Some workers have shortened their vacations. This year, 17% of workers took or planned to take a vacation for ten days or more. That’s down from 24% in 2007.

Others have decided not to travel. Nearly two in five workers (38%) stayed home or are planning to stay home this year.

Harris Interactive conducted the survey on behalf of Career Builder between February 9 and March 2. The company polled more than 5,000 full-time workers and more than 2,000 managers via internet.