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Research Finds Many US Workers Skipping Vacation

Nearly half of those surveyed cited the expense of travel as the reason.

November 22, 2023

According to a recent nationwide survey by Eagle Hill Consulting, 38% of U.S. workers have not taken a vacation during the past 12 months.

The research, contained within the 2023 Eagle Hill Consulting Workforce Burnout Survey conducted by Ipsos in August, found that the expense of taking a vacation was the biggest impediment to taking time off for nearly half of American workers (46%). Beyond travel costs, other reasons workers avoided taking a vacation included self-imposed pressure to stay on top of work (30%), a heavy workload (27%), no colleagues available to cover their responsibilities (26%), and no paid time off (25%).

Even when workers take a vacation, it appears some are still at work. According to the report, many employees are not fully disengaging from work during their time off. While a little more than half (56%) say they fully disconnect from work during a vacation, 25% say they check work email and messages.

These findings come as employee burnout remains high across the United States, according to Eagle Hill research. About half (45%) of participants reported feeling burnout at work. That percentage was higher among younger workers aged 18 to 34 (52%) and women (48%).

“It’s not just employees who benefit from taking time away from work. Employers also benefit,” said Melissa Jezior, Eagle Hill Consulting president and chief executive officer. “When employees have space away from their job, they often return more energized and focused. Ultimately, that benefits their employer and customers.”

“The holidays can be stressful for employees, and we know that nearly half the workforce already is experiencing burnout,” Jezior continued. “A gift leaders can give is to encourage time off and set the example by taking time away themselves to fully unplug. Establishing a ‘take a break’ culture fosters an engaged and healthy workforce while also lowering attrition.”

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