American Workers Struggle to Fully Enjoy Their Time Off

HR & Safety

Those who compromise their time off are particularly judgmental of coworkers’ work habits

One-quarter of all American workers are unable to take all of their paid time off during the year, according to a survey of 507 working adults in the United States by Adecco Staffing U.S. The survey found that 37% of those who take vacation have had to work or stay connected during that time: 89% have checked email, 70% have made work-related calls, and 25% have actually shown up for in-person meetings during vacation. Twenty-two percent have had to cut a vacation short because of work-related duties.

Perhaps not so surprising, those who have given up vacation time because of work-related duties tend to judge their colleagues’ work habits more than others. According to the survey, 37% of those who have worked during vacation said they judge their colleagues for coming in late or for leaving early, compared to only 21% of those who have not had to give up personal time for work or connect while away.

Although working Americans say they’re not able to fully disconnect when they’re away from work, it seems they are finding other ways to claim back their time. In fact, two in 10 (22%) of working Americans admit to planning to either come to work late or leave early when they know their boss is going to be out of office.

Additional Findings

Working Americans stay focused on the basic: making more money and having a greater work/life balance. According to the survey, 53% of American workers said they hope they get a raise this year, followed by 45% who would like a better balance between work and personal life. Other goals include getting promoted (26%), getting a new job (23%), networking more effectively (22%), and improving their relationship with their boss (15%).

Millennials have ambitious career plans for the year ahead when compared to other generations. According to the survey, Millennial workers are much more likely to want a promotion (43% compared to 30% of Gen X and 17% of Boomers) and a raise (67% compared to 58% of Gen X and 44% of Boomers) than other generations.

American workers feel a lack of senior roles in their current company is the biggest obstacle for career growth. According to the survey, 27% of respondents do not believe there is upward mobility within their company. Other obstacles to achieving their career goals include a lack of motivation/being disengaged with their current job (15%), followed by a lack of support from their manager (13%), lack of company-sponsored training (13%), and limited personal qualifications (9%).

Colleagues who complain about work don’t get any sympathy from their coworkers. Working Americans are most commonly annoyed by colleagues who complain about their work (37%). This topped other habits such as leaving common spaces messy (30%), talking excessively loud (26%), and coming into work sick (21%).

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