Work/Life "Balance" Weighs on Workers

May 27, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The 40-hour workweek is a thing of the past for nearly two-thirds of US workers, as longer hours and foregone vacations add up to $21 billion in unused vacation time.

Vacation time is apparently losing ground to work demands, with one in 10 Americans reporting taking less vacation time than they did just a year earlier and 12% taking no vacation at all. For those that do get away, 20% feel guilty taking time off of work, according to a survey by Expedia.com (which, of course, offers an online service that helps individuals arrange those getaways).

As a result of logging long hours at the workplace, 70% said they do not have a healthy balance between work and personal life. In fact, 25% say they would take a pay cut in order to have more time off to enjoy life outside of work.

Not surprisingly, taking time away from the office can be good for what ails you. Eighty-four percent of survey respondents report feeling rested, rejuvenated and reconnected with family and friends after a vacation. Additionally, 80% report having a more positive outlook about their jobs when they take sufficient time away from the workplace.

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