Approximately 44 million working Americans will end the year with seven or more paid vacation days left to use this year, according to a new report.
The 2019 Priceline Work-Life Balance Report, released by the Priceline division of Norwalk-based Booking Holdings Inc., polled 1,000 working Americans with 55% receiving more than 10 paid vacation days each year. However, 53% admitted leaving available vacation days unused at year’s end and 33% said they left at least half of their vacation days unused. One out of four respondents who failed to take a vacation said they chose to stay in the workplace because they felt it would be too expensive to travel.
As for those who get away on vacation, many of them find they cannot turn off their work duties. The report found 29% of respondents acknowledging their company or supervisor expected them to be “available” while on vacation, 38% felt pressured to check their work email and voicemail while away and 15% took their work with them during the break.
Work guilt is particularly acute among younger employees: 47% of Generation Z respondents and 34% of millennials felt pressured to check email and voicemail while on vacation, compared with 24% of baby boomers.
Still, not everyone was happy with being on vacation: 26% of respondents grumbled about using their time off attending “other people’s events,” such as weddings and bachelor/bachelorette parties. And there are other ways to have a vacation without taking a full week off, with more than one in three respondents confessing to fake an illness to score a sick day and 27% inventing “a random story” to secure a free day away from work.
The online survey ran from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4. “The results are nationally representative across gender, income and geographic markets in the United States,” according to Priceline.