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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 and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad 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. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.