E-Leashes Still Interfering with Real Vacations

May 25, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.COM) - If you're one of the growing number of Americans with an electronic leash (in the form of a Blackberry or cell phone), you are finding it harder and harder not to let work duties spill over into vacation time.

That was a key conclusion ofCareerBuilder.com’s annual vacation survey, which found that 20% of workers say they plan to stay in touch with the office during their time off this week – an improvement over the 27% who gave that survey response last year.

Nearly 15% of workers say they gave up at least one of their vacation days in 2006 because they didn’t have time to use it. Ten percent gave up four or more days.

Some workers may not be able to get away at all in 2007. Twenty percent of workers report they won’t take a vacation this year and one-in-four (27%) will take five days or less. Nearly one-in-ten (9%) will limit themselves to weekend getaways.

When it comes to time off, more than 43% feel they don’t get enough paid vacation. The majority of workers (70%) get two weeks or more of paid vacation; nearly a quarter of workers receive four weeks or more. However, 12% of the workforce does not receive any paid vacation. If workers had their way, 69% say three weeks or more of vacation is appropriate.

While only 9% of workers say their employers expect them to check voicemail or e-mail on vacation, others may feel the pressure to do so anyway. Fourteen percent of workers feel guilty that they are not at work while on vacation. Those trying to climb the corporate ladder are the most concerned, with 25- to 34-year-olds reporting the highest level of guilt (20%).

This guilt may lead some to lie about accessibility at their vacation destinations. Nearly one-in-ten (9%) workers have lied to their employers, claiming they couldn’t be reached on vacation.

This survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder.com among 6,823 private sector employees, ages 18 and over within the United States between February 15 and March 6, 2007.