NEW YORK — Taking off for the holidays? Hopefully your winter vacation will give you enough time to unwind and breathe easy. A new survey finds that it takes about four days on average for Americans to completely relax and unload the stress and worries from work while on vacation.
The study, commissioned by Apple Vacations, polled 2,000 workers and sought to identify how employees “switch off” from work when taking time off. They found that this four-day average means that for a week-long vacation, workers spend just 43 percent of their time without the drudgery of work and family lingering in the back of their minds.
Eight in ten surveyed found they struggle to get away from the office for vacations at all, leaving part of their yearly vacation time unused. Another 37 percent admitted they feel guilty about leaving unfinished work at the office. In fact, that guilt was the leading cause of respondents not taking vacations.
Some even felt that taking time off was damaging to their career. About a quarter of those surveyed (26 percent) thought that taking a vacation will prevent them from getting a promotion. These factors leave 15 percent of Americans feeling guilty and stressed when they finally get a chance to plan a vacation for themselves.
This phenomenon seems to affect American workers of different ages differently as well. Nearly half of millennial workers (47 percent) feel guilty for taking vacation, compared to just 19 percent of those aged 55 or older.