Real Vacation Eludes Workers

November 15, 2006 ( - A new survey from Hudson has found that many workers have not taken vacation time and those that have did not totally distance themselves from work during that time.

According to a press release on the survey results, 37% of respondents said they anticipate not using all of their allowed time off this year. Almost a quarter (24%) of respondents have not taken any time off yet in 2006 and 14% have not taken more than a long weekend.

Seventy-two percent of those surveyed said they stay in touch with the office to some extent when they are supposed to be on vacation, with 39% saying they check in with the office most days, if not every day, the press release said. Most managers surveyed (87%) said they keep in contact with the office while vacationing.

The inability to let go of the office while off means vacation no longer refreshes as it is intended. Thirty-eight percent of workers and managers said they return from vacation no more relaxed or even more stressed than when they left, due to the work missed.

The survey also found that the holidays are also not the relaxing and flexible time they once were. Half of employees surveyed said their company does not offer them any extra flexibility around the holidays to shop or make preparations, and 54% said their office is no more casual during the holidays than the rest of the year. However, managers seem to have a different view. Almost half of managers surveyed (49%) said they feel they have greater flexibility at work during the holiday season, and 42% stated their office is more casual then as well.

Only 23% of workers claimed to be more productive during the holiday season than other times of the year, while 37% admitted to being less productive.

Other survey findings included:

  • More than half (53%) of government workers do not expect to use all of their vacation time this year.
  • Only eight percent of workers earning more than $100,000 per year have not taken off from work this year.
  • Just 43% of workers ages 18-29 return from vacation more relaxed than when they left, compared to 53% of all workers.

Survey results were based on a national poll of 1,914 US workers conducted November 4-6, 2006 and were compiled by Rasmussen Reports, LLC. A chart of survey data is here .