American workers largely do not unplug on holiday and many employees leave vacation days on the table 

It is not uncommon to hear most Americans spend an hour or possibly more per day on email when they are actually on holiday, but a new study finds the reason for not completely unplugging is ensure there’s not a flood of emails waiting upon their return.


Summary:

  • A a new study finds the main reason workers do not completely unplug while on vacation is ensure there’s not a flood of emails waiting upon their return;
  • New study by technology company Kimble reveals one in five employees check in with their employers everyday while on vacation, while another 30% said they check in periodically;
  • The Kimble survey shows less than half of respondents took all of their vacation days with one in five leaving more than five days unused per year;
  • Even when submitting a vacation request, one in five of the respondents felt anxious about being away from work, and 7% were nervous their request would not be approved.

Technology company Kimble analysed 1,200 full time US employees working for companies that offer paid vacation, and roughly one in five employees check in with their employers everyday while another 30% said they check in periodically.

According to one individual quoted in the Kimble study, checking email “makes my vacation less of a rest – it doesn’t help me unwind. But I don’t think there is an alternative”.

The survey results also show 47% of respondents took all of their vacations days in 2017 while more than one in five remarked they left less than five days on the table. Kimble stated another 21% “left more than five days on the table”.

Kimble remarked that 27% of survey respondents stated the main reason they couldn’t use all their allotted vacation time was too many projects or deadlines. Another 13% cited fear of returning to too much work and 7% cited the fear of not appearing dedicated enough.

Asked if they would give up a year’s vacation to earn a promotion, 65% of survey respondents stated they valued their time off, and would not give it up. But nearly 20% said they would cede their time off if it meant receiving a promotion.

Kimble co-founder Mark Robinson concluded: “Technological advances mean that people can sit on the beach and pretty much have access to everything they would have access to in the office. Taking that vacation but allowing yourself to check in periodically, as a third of US workers do, is probably better than leaving the days on the table. However, doing work on your paid time off should always be a personal choice.”

But KImble’s survey results showed even when submitting a vacation request, 19% of the respondents fell anxious about being away from work, and 7% were nervous their request would not be approved.