According to the SHRM report, 83% of HR professionals agreed or strongly agreed that employees were encouraged by their managers to use their vacation time each year, compared with 63% of employees who responded the same. This indicates that employees may be receiving less support from their managers to use vacation time than HR professionals are aware of, the report said.
Additionally, HR professionals (44%) were more likely to perceive that employees felt personally obligated to stay connected to their organization while on vacation than employees (35%) indicated. Eighteen percent of employees indicated that there was an unwritten, unspoken expectation at their organizations to stay connected to the organization while on vacation, compared to 21% of human resources professionals who indicated so.
As for who was feeling the need to stay connected, executive-level employees (61%) were more likely to feel personally obligated to stay connected to the workplace while on vacation than employees in middle-management (36%) or non-management (27%) positions. While one-third of employees who responded indicated they typically took work with them on vacation, executive-level and middle-management-level employees were more likely to take work on vacation than non-management employees.
Eighty-one percent of HR professionals indicated their organizations provided employees with the means to stay connected to the workplace while on vacation. They reported that the top three means to stay connected provided by organizations were cellular phones/pagers (87%), laptops (87%) and BlackBerry/handheld devices (62%).
Other key survey findings, according to the report, included:
- Eight out of 10 responding HR professionals reported that their organizations offered paid vacation or paid time off.
- 70% of employees agreed or strongly agreed that they were opting to take long weekend vacations instead of being out of the workplace for longer periods of time.
- 27% percent of employees agreed or strongly agreed that they used sick or personal days as vacation days.
- Employees who reported that they took work with them on vacation spent, on average, 9% of their time working (checking e-mail, voicemails or other work).
- Almost four out of 10 HR professionals reported that paid vacation/paid time off benefits were negotiable at their organizations.
SHRM and CareerJournal.com, a Web site of The Wall Street Journal, received responses from 619 HR professionals and 473 employees for the 2006 Workplace Vacation online poll.
The survey report is here .