Even though vacations are supposed to be a time for workers to relax and recharge, that's not always the case. In a recent survey, almost 60 percent of workers said they receive little to no stress relief from vacations while just 9 percent said they achieved a state of total relaxation.
Not only do a majority of workers not feel relief from stress after a vacation, but 27 percent said they were more stressed going back to work after vacation. This is because 42 percent of workers said they checked in with the office at least every other day. An additional 7 percent checked in with work multiple times a day during vacation. Only one in four workers said they didn’t check in once during time off.
Another reason for the struggle to enjoy vacation comes from the fact that 83 percent of workers said they had never discussed vacation policies with their bosses. This in turn makes it harder for employees to fully disconnect while on vacation since they are not sure of their responsibilities.
“For any company or organization to achieve success in today’s marketplace, it’s critical to develop techniques, such as delegation practices, that allow employees to take stress-relieving, battery-recharging vacations,” said Halley Bock, CEO of leadership development and training company Fierce Inc., which conducted the research.
Vacation and paid time off (PTO) remained very important to workers despite the majority of workers who said vacation provided them no stress relief. Overall, 84 percent of employees said that PTO was important to their happiness and 84 percent considered it very important to their wellbeing and the morale of their companies.
A majority of workers, 80 percent, desired 20 or more days of PTO a year but fewer than 50 percent of workers said they received 20 days or less of time off.
The information in this research was based on the responses of more than 1,000 executives and employees in a variety of fields, including finance, health care, retail, manufacturing, education and defense.