Vacations Continue to be Less of a Break from Work

May 20, 2008 ( - One-quarter of workers surveyed by said they stay in contact with work while on vacation.

A news release said this is up from the 20% of workers who said they stay in contact with work while on vacation in its 2007 survey. Nine percent of employees polled this year said their bosses expect them to be working or at least checking voicemail and e-mail while on vacation.

By industry, sales workers (50%) lead the industries surveyed in the number of workers planning to check in while away on vacation, followed by financial services workers and IT workers (both at 37%), according to the release. Nearly one in five IT workers (19%) said working or checking voicemail and/or e-mail while on vacation is required by their employers, compared to 17% of sales workers, 14% of workers in the financial industry, and 12% of those in professional and business services.

Seven percent of workers reported they have lied to their employers to get out of working while on vacation, claiming they could not be reached on vacation. Rosemary Haefner, vice president of Human Resources at, said in the release that 12% of workers indicated they feel guilty when they are on vacation, and 6% reported feeling it could lead to them lose their jobs.

In addition, the survey found employees plan to spend their vacations:

  • Traveling (36%),
  • Visiting family and friends (24%),
  • Resting (20%),
  • Catching up on housework (8%), or
  • Running errands (3%).