Many Workers Can’t Afford Vacation

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CHICAGO—With the summer vacation season just weeks away, a recent study from CareerBuilder shows financial constraints and demanding work schedules have some workers foregoing vacation plans this year. Twenty-four percent of full-time workers reported they can’t afford to take a vacation in 2011, up from 21 percent last year. Another 12 percent reported they can afford a vacation but don’t have plans to take one this year. More than 5,600 workers participated in the nationwide study, which was conducted from Feb. 21 to March 10.

While the majority of workers are planning some time away from work, three in 10 plan to take the office with them on vacation. Thirty percent reported they will contact work while on vacation, up from 25 percent last year.

“Taking advantage of vacation or paid-time-off benefits is critical not only to your well-being, but to your overall job performance,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “Workers who set aside time for R&R tend to have less burnout, more creative energy and higher quality output. While financial challenges and heavy workloads may make vacation planning difficult, it’s important to find time to recharge away or at home. It can ultimately translate into a more gratifying work experience that benefits you, your family and your employer.”

As the economy heals, more than one-third (36 percent) of workers reported that they feel more comfortable taking a vacation than they did in 2010. One in four (26 percent) are planning a vacation of seven to 10 days while 11 percent expect to be gone 2 weeks or longer. Twenty-four percent are planning for three to five days or a weekend getaway.

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