Conscientious Americans are leaving almost half of their paid vacation allowance unused, and two in three say they work while on vacation, according to a new report.
A survey by the careers website Glassdoor published this week revealed that the average American employee has taken advantage of just 51% of his or her paid time off over the past year. Over 2,000 participants took part in the study.
Eighty-five per cent of workers report taking paid holiday allowance over the past 12 months, but 15% of employees haven't taken a break for a year. Two in five workers used up 25% or less of their eligible vacation time.
Meanwhile, even while away, workers are finding it increasingly difficult to completely switch off and ignore business-related calls and emails, with 61% of participants admitting to working on vacation. One in five employees reports being contacted by the boss while on paid leave.
"It's clear the word vacation among employers and employees doesn't mean what it did in the past," said Glassdoor's Rusty Rueff. "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."
The trend for employees struggling to disconnect from work while on vacation has led to the rise of "tech free" holidays over recent years. Companies like California-based Digital Detox offer vacation packages in which guests leave their gadgets at the door for an "off-the-grid experience of personal growth, serenity and bliss," while the Caribbean islands St. Vincent and the Grenadines promote the destination as one for "de-teching" or disconnecting from phones and gadgets and even TV.