Large Portion of U.S. Workforce Not Taking Vacation, New Eagle Hill Consulting Research Finds

As Spring Break approaches, new Eagle Hill Consulting research finds a large share of workers say they aren’t taking vacations, often due to the high costs. Thirty-nine percent of U.S. workers report that they have not taken a vacation during the last 12 months. Nearly half of workers (45 percent) say the expense of taking a vacation is the biggest impediment to taking time off.

These findings come as employee burnout remains alarmingly high across the U.S. workforce. About half (46 percent) of American employees say that they are feeling burnout at work.

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“It’s critical to productivity and mental health that employees periodically and fully disconnect from the demands of the workplace. This means not checking email and participating in virtual meetings during vacation. Recharging is all the more important as we continue to measure high burnout levels across the U.S. workforce,” said Melissa Jezior, president and chief executive officer of Eagle Hill Consulting.

“It’s not just employees who benefit from taking a break. Employers that encourage employees to take time off from work are far more likely to have an engaged workforce at its peak performance. Smart employers will foster a culture that enables employees to take vacations and fully unplug from their job pressures,” Jezior explained.

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The survey also finds:

  • Thirty-nine percent of workers have not taken time off in the last 12 months, highest among younger workers (43 percent) and lower income employees (59 percent).
  • Workers say the impediments to taking a fully unplugged vacation include the expense of taking a vacation (45 percent), self-imposed pressure to stay on top of work (33 percent), a heavy workload (29 percent), no colleagues available to cover their workload (29 percent), and no paid time off (23 percent).
  • Many employees are not fully unplugging during time off. While about half (56 percent) say they fully disconnect from work during vacation, more than a quarter (27 percent) say they check work email and messages.

These findings are from the 2023 Eagle Hill Consulting Workforce Burnout Survey conducted by Ipsos from February 9-13, 2023. The survey included 1001 respondents from a random sample of employees across the U.S.

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