CHICAGO (McClatchy) —For the first time in years, Americans in 2017 kicked back and took more time off from work — but just a few hours more.
Workers on average took 17.2 days of vacation last year, an increase of about half a day compared with 2016, according to a recent survey of 4,439 workers. That’s the most vacation time taken since 2010, and and it’s up more than a full day from when vacation time bottomed out at 16 days in 2014, according to the Project: Time Off Coalition, which is backed by a group of travel industry organizations.
Still, most Americans surveyed by the group squander their vacation time. More than half — 52 percent — didn’t take all the the vacation time they earned and almost a quarter of workers said they hadn’t taken a vacation in more than a year. In all, surveyed workers left a total of 705 million vacation days unused last year, compared with 662 million days in 2016, according to the report released Tuesday.
In 2017, surveyed workers on average earned 23.2 vacation days, compared with 22.6 days in 2016.
Work pressures largely are the cause of unused vacation time, the survey found. Employees who were concerned that vacation would make them appear dispensable or less dedicated were less likely to use all their vacation time.
A survey last year by job website Glassdoor found that many workers were still in contact with the office while using their paid time off. Twenty-nine percent were contacted by a coworker, up from 24 percent in 2014, and 1 in 4 said their boss contacted them. The Glassdoor survey covered 2,224 adults.