Study: Fear and technology keep Americans from taking paid time off

According to the survey, most American workers are not using all of their paid time off.

American workers only use half of their annual paid vacation, according to a recent poll conducted by Harris Interactive for the career website Glassdoor. More alarmingly, 61 percent of the individuals polled said that they continue to work during their vacations, despite complaints from their family members.

According to the survey, 85 percent of employees reported taking at least one day off in the past 12 months, leaving 15 percent who worked through the entire year. Taking time off doesn't necessarily equate to relaxation either. "It's clear the word vacation among employers and employees doesn't mean what it did in the past," said Rusty Rueff, Glassdoor career and workplace expert, in a press release. "Before technology allowed us to be connected 24/7, we were more likely to have actually 'vacated' our work for a couple of weeks a year, but now, it appears one full day away is a luxury."

Some workers told Glassdoor that that they didn't take time off because they are afraid of getting behind. Others said that they were afraid of not meeting organizational goals.

At Essi Systems, as stress and resiliency  experts, we find the results of these studies confirm what we've seen frequently in our work with organizations. . Without vacation there's no break from the day-to-day stressors of work, no downtime for the body and mind to rejuvenate. People's ability to stay adaptable, engaged, and energetic is severely diminished, leading directly to burnout. And when stress levels rise, the bottom line suffers to the tune of $300 billion dollars every year.  With employees still reporting stress as their #1 issue on workplace surveys, it seems everyone would benefit from unplugging and tapping into a little R&R.

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