Americans don't really like to take time off, but they still manage to do so sometimes. The problem is, are they still working while they're on vacation?
One recent survey showed that many U.S. employees are still working when they're away from the office. Of the respondents, 61 percent indicated that they work while on vacation. Though access to everything you need to work in this digital age does seem to explain the number of people who admitted to working while taking time off, there are other factors at play as well.
"Access to everything you need to work in this digital age does seem to explain the number of people who admitted to working while taking time off, but there are other factors at play as well. "
People who work while on vacation can be broken down into three groups. The survey found that of those who indicated working while taking time off, 17 percent noted that they simply couldn't stop thinking about the things they had to do, and thus got to work. Things get even more worrisome from there though. At 20 percent, the next category of vacation workers are those that explained they had been contacted by a colleague.
The second largest portion of people who work while taking time off – 24 percent – indicated that they had done so because of a request from their bosses. Finally, the largest category of vacation workers is composed of those who have to address an issue because they are the only ones at their respective companies trained to do so. A fairly small number of respondents had a rather distressing reason for working while on vacation – they explained they were frightened of their bosses.
If you think this isn't happening at New York finance jobs, then you're probably wrong. The study found that 71 percent of the people who indicated they work while on vacation make $100,000 per year – more money, more problems as one famous New Yorker once said.
Americans not taking much time off as it is
But that's not the only alarming find about vacation time this year. Yes, many Americans are working while taking time off, but most of them rarely take vacation days anyway. This isn't good, since more vacation time typically correlates with higher productivity – a happy employee is a good one.
An Oxford Economics study for the U.S. Travel Association's Travel Effect Initiative found that employees in the U.S. gave up $52.4 billion in time-off benefits in 2013. They shunned 169 million vacation days, opting instead to work. In 2013 Americans took an average of 16 vacation days per year, compared with 20.3 days in 2000.
"The economic potential of returning to the pre-2000 vacation patterns is massive: annual vacation days taken by U.S. employees would jump 27 percent (or 768 million days), delivering a $284 billion impact across the entire U.S. economy," the travel association explained.
Basically, encourage your employees to take advantage of the time off that they have earned – and try not to blackmail them into working while they're on vacation.