vacation

Workaholic Americans aren’t taking all their vacation time

April 3, 2014 at 7:35 AM ET

More proof that Americans are workaholics: Even when we get paid vacation, many of us don't take it.

A new survey of employees finds that only 25 percent of employees with paid time off took all of their vacation days last year.

Many Americans don't use all their paid vacation days, and even if they do take time off, they often do some work, a new survey finds.
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Many Americans don't use all their paid vacation days, and even if they do take time off, they often do some work, a new survey finds.

What’s worse, 15 percent took none of their vacation days at all. The rest took some portion of the days they were allotted, according to the data released Thursday by employment website Glassdoor.

Even when employees took vacation, many ended up working. More than half of the employees who took vacation said they did some work while they were supposed to be off, according to the Glassdoor data.

Glassdoor’s data is based on a Harris Poll of about 2,000 adults, including about 1,000 full- and part-time employees who were included in the questions about vacation.

Video: A new survey reveals that on average, workers in the United States we only use 51 percent of their vacation allotment. And 11 percent say they use their time off to interview for another job.


The findings are in keeping with other research showing that Americans are likely to leave at least some of their vacation on the table, even when they are granted it.

Of course, not all Americans are even getting the option of a paid vacation. The Glassdoor survey found that 78 percent of employees surveyed receive vacation or paid time off, while the remaining 22 percent reported not getting any paid vacation or time off.

Video: Researchers argue that taking a vacation -- or just taking a break from your iPhone for a few hours at night, or taking a real lunch break -- is a way to recharge and be more productive, reports CNBC's Allison Linn.


Other researchers have found that the United States is an outlier when it comes to vacation. The Center for Economic and Policy Research, a left-leaning think tank, released a report last year showing that the United States is the only highly developed nation that doesn’t require employers to offer paid vacation time.

CEPR said its analysis found that 77 percent of U.S. workers get paid vacation time, and on average those workers receive 13 days of paid time off a year.

That’s in sharp contrast to countries including France, the United Kingdom and Germany, where workers have the right to more than three weeks of paid vacation annually.

You don’t necessarily have to move to Europe to get that kind of perk — a select few U.S. companies buck the overall trend and offer their employees unlimited vacation.

Allison Linn is a reporter at CNBC. Follow her on Twitter @allisondlinn or send her an e-mail.

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