Employees Finally Starting to Relax About Taking Time Off

job interview During the recession, the majority of Americans offered to forgo vacations, and most of those who did take them stayed in electronic contact with their jobs while gone. It was all about protecting your position: None wanted to return from vacation only to find that the boss had gotten along so well without them that they decided to eliminate their jobs. But times are changing.

A recent survey by international staffing agencyAerotek shows that 65 percent of respondents now have no qualms about using some or all of their allotted vacation time. A full 68 percent of those surveyed have little to no anxiety about the work they are missing and 52 percent completely disconnect while on vacation. More than 50 percent also return from vacation feeling relaxed and refreshed.

"While we know that vacation time is important for an employee's health and well-being, it would seem the job uncertainty created by the economic recession would likely cause some employees to cut back on vacation time taken," said Todd Gardner, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Aerotek. "It is uplifting to see that employees are taking vacations again and coming back to their job relaxed and refreshed, which will benefit both employee and employer."

Perhaps another sign of an increased sense of job security could be that more than half of the respondents completely disconnect from work while on vacation and there were far fewer respondents who were likely to check voicemail and email frequently or schedule specific times to check in with the office.

The survey also looked at how employees spend their vacation time. "Staycations," which became popular during the economic downturn, do not seem to be as popular according to this survey, with only 10 percent planning to stay home and visit local attractions. Currently, 61 percent of vacationers plan to travel elsewhere -- whether to visit friends and family, to relax or to sightsee. All this traveling that respondents plan to do, could be yet another sign of an economic recovery.

It seems that how we view our time off could be a reflection of our confidence in our time on the job.

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