Americans are known to have a problem unplugging while away on vacation and a new study by LinkedIn may tell us why.
According to a recent LinkedIn study, although Americans value spending time with their families, up to 70% of employees won’t disconnect from their work email while away on vacation. The most common reason why (cited by 56% of employees) was that they don’t want to fall behind at work.
In a breakdown into the demographics of the study, compared to the 30% of employees who said they stay unplugged only 5% of business leaders said they never check their email while they’re on vacation.
This may be due to an increased amount of responsibility business leaders face. Even the smallest choices can cost a business a lot of money. Filing alone costs $20 per document.
What’s more, the study shows that 16% of millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) don’t use their paid time off because they’re too anxious to request it. But not taking a vacation could be causing additionall issues. In fact, professional services firm Ernst & Young conducted an internal study of its employees and found that for each additional 10 hours of vacation time employees took, their year-end performance ratings improved 8%.
Unfortunately, this isn’t new information. Millennials have been known not to take time off from work because they’re worried taking vacation time will take them out of the running for future promotions.
This may have less to do with the state of the nation’s employment rate and more to do with the millennial generation’s financial difficulties.
In 2017, millennials only made up 33% of the home-buying population despite the fact that the oldest millennials are 35. And compared to the average home, which has 300,000 belongings, studies have shown that many millennials don’t own much of anything.
Yet, it’s important to look at the study as a whole rather than by generation alone. When broadly examining the American workforce, 51% of survey respondents said they didn’t use all of their vacation time in the previous year because they had too much work to do.
“You’re not alone if you feel guilty before asking for time off or shutting down your email on the beach,” said Blair Decembrele, a career expert at LinkedIn, “but you should ask.”
“It’s important for your well-being,” Decembrele said. “And we often hear that taking time off makes people more productive when they come back.”
There have been many studies that show not taking a vacation can hurt your career. Project Time Off, a U.S. Travel Association initiative, says that frequent vacationers are more likely to receive a raise compared to those who don’t take time off.
There’s a reason why many vacationers enjoy going to beach or fishing (up to 11% of Alaska’s visitors came just to fish in 2016). By relaxing on vacation, employees are able to lower their stress and blood pressure, which allows them to see problems from a fresh perspective when they return to work.
Unfortunately, while vacationing may do wonders for your health, for some vacations are seen as a privilege.
“Although the economy is doing well, there are still plenty of Americans who are struggling to make ends meet,” said Amanda Dixon, an analyst from Bankrate.com.
“In the past, when economic conditions were worse,” Dixon said, “more people would’ve said that they couldn’t afford to take a summer vacation due to financial problems.”