Last updated: 09:47 / Friday, 23 May 2014
Robert Half Survey

Vacation Days: Are You a Saver or a Spender?

Vacation Days: Are You a Saver or a Spender?
  • 4 In 10 workers don't use all their time; wanting to save days and too much work top reasons given

As summer approaches, employees are busy planning long-awaited vacations. But a new Robert Half survey shows 39 percent of workers won't use all the paid vacation time they're given. The reasons: 38 percent are saving days in case they need them later, while 30 percent fear falling behind at work.

The national study was developed by Robert Half, the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm, and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on 436 telephone interviews with U.S. adults working in an office environment.

Workers were asked:"Do you typically use all of the paid vacation days you are provided by your company?" Their responses:

Don't know/no answer3%

Workers who answered "no" were asked: "What is the primary reason you don't use all of your vacation time?" Their responses:

You want to save time in case you need it38%
Too much work – you don't want to fall behind30%
You don't like to take time off or vacations12%
Don't get any vacation time10%
Your manager would frown upon it3%
Something else7%

"Whether you're a vacation 'saver' or 'spender,' it's important to have balance," noted Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half. "All work and no play doesn't just lead to burnout -- it also erodes creativity, since stepping out of your routine frequently sparks innovation," he said. "Fresh perspective is useful in just about any profession."

McDonald added that managers should lead by example when it comes to saying "bon voyage" to the office. "Supervisors should encourage their teams to take a break and recharge, especially their top performers, who are often the most aggressive vacation savers and most susceptible to burnout. The best way to do this is by taking time off yourself," he said.

For your information...

Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company has staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search services through its divisional websites, all of which can be accessed at