According to survey of 1,000 workers conducted by Virgin Pulse, only 44 percent take 76 to 100 percent of their allotted days for paid time off each year, and 34 percent report take 50 percent or less of their available PTOs.

Many are just too concerned about being out of the office.

Indeed, some 41 percent say they feel “guilty” or “stressed” about taking time off.

“Not only are stress and burnout impacting people’s health, but they’re taking a terrible toll on businesses,” said Chris Boyce, CEO of Virgin Pulse, in a statement about the survey, “A Little Time Away: How Relaxing & Recharging Drives Productivity.”

“Stressed-out employees cost companies $600 more than average in healthcare each year, adding up to over $300 billion annually.”

“Employee burnout is all too common, but it’s also easy to avoid,” he said. “As employers, it’s important to encourage people to take time off when they need it. In return, they’ll come back to work full of energy and better able to engage and be productive.”

Time away isn’t always time off

Many people feel pre-vacation stress because the act of tying up loose ends is time-consuming, overwhelming or downright impossible. Thirty-two percent of those surveyed say they have to put in extra time at work before a vacation.

Many employees report that they are still working while on vacation, and the majority feel obligated to do so. Just 48 percent of those surveyed say their company expects them to be totally unavailable while on vacation. In addition:

  • More than 20 percent of respondents say they work during their vacations;
  • 48 percent say they’re expected to be at least somewhat available while on vacation; and
  • 48 percent say they typically use their mobile devices to “stay plugged in” while on vacation.

“Good employees are dedicated to their jobs, but if they’re stressed about being out of the office and constantly checking in, that does little to help them recharge their batteries. For employees, it’s important to work with managers and teams well in advance to make sure things are under control while they’re out, which should better help them relax and enjoy their time off,” added Boyce.

Recharging the batteries

Survey respondents noted that relaxation was the most important aspect of a good vacation. In fact, 58 percent said they typically vacation somewhere where they can relax.

Some 44 percent opt for “staycations” is particularly popular, preferring to relax at home rather than go away.

Unfortunately, relaxation isn’t always immediate. For 46 percent of people surveyed, it takes two or three days to begin to unwind on a vacation; for 29 percent, it takes 4-5 days or more, with some of those reporting that they don’t really manage to unwind at all.

The survey also had a section devoted to well-being, finding that roughly half said they sleep better on vacation (48 percent) and maintain healthy eating habits (47 percent).

About Virgin Pulse

Virgin Pulse, part of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, helps employers create a workforce with the energy, focus, and drive necessary to fully engage at work and in life.

Source: Virgin Pulse