Have you had a vacation yet this summer? If not, do you have one planned? At work, do you find yourself daydreaming about the adventures you’ll have, lazing on the beach, hiking mountains, or exploring new cities?
How much would someone have to pay you NOT to go?
If you’re like many people, your vacation time is priceless. In fact, according to new data from the 2017 Emerging Workforce® Study (EWS) commissioned by Spherion Staffing, nearly half (41 percent) of employees say they would accept more paid vacation time in lieu of a pay raise if given the choice.
But not surprisingly, it seems employers don’t value that time off as much as their employees do: While 70 percent of workers consider paid vacation time a right of employment, rather than a benefit, only 58 percent of employers share that view. To make matters worse, 39 percent of workers consider their company’s paid vacation plan inferior to that of comparable industry competitors.
“As businesses face greater pressure than ever to retain top workers, job satisfaction factors that employers previously may have overlooked, such as vacation time, play a greater role in shaping where employees decide to work,” said Sandy Mazur, Spherion Division President. “For companies that cannot afford to offer substantial raises at the moment, extra vacation time—or flexibility that allows workers to take time away without feeling connected to their job—can elevate morale, increase retention, and build positive perception of their workplace.”
Despite the value they place on vacation time, the EWS also found that vacation remains a taboo topic and a source of stress for many employees. Nearly one-third say they feel guilty requesting paid vacation time, while 42 percent say they have hesitated to take paid time off for fear of disrupting their team’s workflow.
Finally, it will come as no surprise to most of us that a vacation isn’t always a true escape from work these days, thanks to modern technology. Even when employees do manage to get away on a much needed vacation, EWS revealed a troubling trend where employees cannot truly escape during their scheduled time off: 28 percent admit that their company expects them to work while they are on vacation, a practice that 22 percent of employers agree with.