According to a new survey from job site Glassdoor, the average U.S. employee (of those who receive vacation/paid time off) has only taken about half (54%) of his or her eligible vacation time/paid time off in the past 12 months.
This is relatively consistent with how much vacation time employees reported taking in 2014 (51%), when Glassdoor first conducted this survey. However, more Americans (66%) today report working when they do take vacation compared to three years ago (61%).
This survey, conducted online in March-April by Harris Poll among 2,224 adults ages 18 and older, took a look at employee vacation time realities, including the percentage of eligible vacation time/paid time off employees actually take, along with how much they work and why while on vacation, among other trends.
Of employees who receive vacation/paid time off, nine out of 10 (91%) report taking at least some time off in the last 12 months, up from 85% in 2014.
Over the same time period, 23% reported taking 100% of their eligible time off, while another 23% of employees reported taking 25% or less of their eligible time off (both down two percentage points from 25% in 2014). Nine percent reported taking no vacation or paid time off at all.
Despite slightly more employees taking vacation time overall, it doesn't necessarily mean more are getting away from work.
Fewer employees who take vacation/paid time off report being able to completely "check out" while they are on vacation (54% in 2017, down from 63% in 2014) and more than one quarter (27%) are expected to stay aware of work issues and jump in if things need their attention while they are away, up from 20% in 2014.
More than one in ten (12%) employees who take vacation/paid time off are expected to be reachable, deliver work, and/or participate in conference calls while on vacation (compared to 9% in 2014).
Given these expectations, it may be no surprise that many employees remain in contact with colleagues and managers while using paid time off.