With only a few days until the official start of vacation season, money, anxiety and guilt are causing some workers to scrap their vacation plans. Consumers have become increasingly concerned for their jobs, and more than a third (35 percent) of workers say they haven’t gone on or aren’t planning to take a vacation in 2009; 71 percent of those indicate it is because they just can’t afford it, according CareerBuilder’s annual vacation survey. The survey was conducted from February 20 through March 11, 2009 among more than 4,400 workers. Additionally, close to one-in-five workers indicate that they are either afraid of losing their jobs if they go on vacation or feel guilty being away from the office.
Taking a vacation doesn’t necessarily mean a clean break from the office. Half (50 percent) of employers say they expect employees to check in with the office while they are away, with 40 percent indicating it’ll be necessary only if they are working on a big project or there is a major issue going on with the company. Close to three-in-ten (28 percent) workers say they plan to contact the office at least once, regardless of what they are working on, while they are on vacation.
“While the current economy may be causing workers anxiety about taking a vacation this year, a break from work is essential for maintaining healthy productivity levels in the office,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “Workers should plan ahead and make it a goal to use their vacation benefits; 15 percent reported that they didn’t use all of their allotted time last year. Utilizing your time off is even more important now due to the added responsibilities and pressure that some workers may be faced with due to the current economic situation.”
Just when will things start turning around? According to Richard Buczynski, chief economist at IBISWorld, the US economy will continue to decline by 3% in 2009, and will not return to its normal course until 2011. The full report, entitled ‘Economic Crisis: When will it end?’ is now available at the firm’s website. To view it, click here.