Reader Poll: What’s Your ‘Take’ on Vacation?

A new survey finds that a third of workers won’t be taking a vacation this year, and nearly as many say they stay connected with work during vacation – but that doesn’t seem to be the case with NAPA Net readers.

Nearly 6 in 10 (57.8%) of this week’s respondents are committed to taking all of their vacation this year, with another 5.2% saying they probably would. Still, more than a quarter (26.3%) said they wouldn’t, and another 11% were in the “maybe not” category. Still, that looked to be a mirror image of the workforce at large surveyed by CareerBuilder.

NAPA Net readers were different in other ways as well. While one in five (21%) said they would be checking email while on vacation, and another 10% said they would do so “occasionally,” most were apparently going to disconnect, with approximately 23% each saying they would not be doing so, that they would do so only sporadically, or that it would “depend on what was going on.”

Calls into the office were even less likely. More than half (53%) said they wouldn’t be calling in, while roughly 1 in 10 said they would call in “occasionally” and about 16% each said it would depend on what’s going on, or on what their email said. The rest were in the “sporadically” category.

All this among respondents where nearly half (47%) got more than 20 days of vacation, by the way.

Looking back, while 42% said they took all of their 2016 vacation, the rest did not. One reader put it in the “I took it, but I also took ‘it’ with me” category.

Oh, as for that CareerBuilder survey (and to the point of some comments that follow), more than a third (36%) say that they’ve returned from vacation to find so much work, they wish they’d never left at all, and 18% say vacations cause them to be more stressed out about work. CareerBuilder says that could be the reason nearly one in five (17%) left vacation days on the table at the end of last year.

Reader Comments

Speaking of which, we got a number of reader comments to this week’s poll. Here’s a sampling:

“I have never been able to take all my vacation. I have no one here that can do my work, so if something comes up, it is waiting for me when I get back. This summer, I am taking two weeks (not consecutively). It is causing me stress thinking about how I am going to get all the work done. I understand that this is a bad thing, vacations are important, etc., etc. Unfortunately, this is my reality for right now. One of those weeks, I can probably keep up with e-mail. The other week, I probably cannot. In both situations, I won’t be able to get any real work done. I can simply answer questions as best I can from the road.”

“There are oodles of research and articles on how important it is to disconnect – heck, some countries have laws about it! I am a TPA, not a brain surgeon – there really should not be any emergencies that cannot wait until I get back. I allow my boss and co-workers to contact me with questions while I’m out, but they rarely do. I’m not interested in being that connected – it’s not healthy, and having the break really recharges the batteries for when you get back! (You know you’re going to need it because no one’s touching your work while you’re gone!!)”

“If you don’t take a vacation, your value is taken for granted. Let them miss you, and they will appreciate you. Furthermore, companies should have a backup structure in place so that clients can contact the employee’s colleagues with questions or needs. If someone has a backup, he or she should be able to leave work at work, take a full vacation without checking in, and come back with a manageable amount of work to catch up.”

“Vacation means no work! It’s tough to do in this digital age with email pushed to our smartphones, but everything will still be there when you return. Take the time off, enjoy it & recharge.”

“The ‘deadline’ timetable makes it tricky to fit in all vacation over the course of the year.”

“In today’s mobile environment, it’s possible to get in touch with the office from almost anywhere. Airplanes, airports, cruise ships, coffee shops, restaurants, and even some beaches have wifi hot spots. And it’s possible to log onto the office network using a tablet, or even a cellphone. Sometimes this is great. Other times I wish it wasn’t so easy to stay in touch!”

“I didn’t take all of my vacation as we can roll unused days forward and accrue vacation hours every other week. We do cap out so cannot accrue days off indefinitely. When on vacation, I will not touch anything work related unless an absolute emergency. Vacation is very important and we don’t travel often, so I will not have it interrupted.”

“In past jobs, I worked during vacations or forfeited days, and I got job eliminated despite my efforts. I’ve learned that family and personal time is too important to give up for any company.”

“Nobody is indispensable for a week or two; any business that can’t survive an associate or even an officer or VIP being out of the office for 2 weeks incommunicado is too poorly run to survive long.”

“Vacations are essential for my mental health, but there’s no way to fully unplug these days. It actually serves me well to check e-mail 1-2 times a day while on vacation. If I stay on top of things, even at a surface level, it’s much less stressful when I return to the office.”

My favorite – though having lived through them, I don’t remember them being completely so – was the reader who said, “I bet the vacations before smartphones were very relaxing.”

Thanks to everyone who participated in our weekly NAPA Net Reader Poll!

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