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Employees Afraid to Ask Bosses for Time Off

vacation-art Credit: Dreamstime

New research reveals employees are hesitant to use their vacation time — even if they have days off to spare.

A recent Harris Interactive study conducted for JetBlue Airways found that 57 percent of working Americans will have unused vacation time at year’s end. The survey discovered most employees leave an average of 11 vacation days on the table, or 70 percent of their total allotted time off.

And it’s not because they lack the desire to take a break.

While more than 60 percent of those with vacation days believe they deserve to take their allotted time off, 39 percent of those surveyed said they had reservations about actually asking their boss for a vacation, and therefore, choose to just stay in the office.

"We were surprised to learn that almost a third of American workers feel guilty, nervous or stressed when asking for a day off of work," said Grant McCarthy, director of JetBlue Getaways.

The survey also showed that 41 percent of those who do take vacation time take off at least a week at a time. That isn’t surprising, according to JetBlue; the average employee reports needing at least six consecutive days off to truly unwind.

The research was based on surveys of more than 1,110 full- and part-time U.S. employees.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.