Most Americans Spend Some of Their Vacation Working

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A vacation, by its very definition, isn’t supposed to involve work. But that hasn’t stopped more than 3 in 4 Americans from putting in work hours while on vacation.

According to a recent TripAdvisor survey, a whopping 77 percent of Americans admitted to working during their vacation in the past year. That’s nearly twice the rate of the nine other countries included in the survey.

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Americans also receive less paid vacation time compared with their international counterparts. The U.S. worker average is 18 days. The number for the other nine countries ranged from 19 in Japan to 31 in France.

Other survey findings include:

  • Why work? Survey respondents said urgent situations sometimes need attention. Plus, some U.S. workers said they think their managers expect it, or they feel guilty if they don’t stay connected to work.
  • You’ve got mail. Ninety-one percent of U.S. respondents said they check work email while on vacation (compared with a 65 percent average for all 10 countries). “Of those [Americans] who check work email on vacation, 37 percent say it is an everyday habit and do not consider it to be ‘work’ while on vacation,” TripAdvisor said.
  • Not fair. “The majority of U.S. respondents (76 percent) do not feel the amount of paid vacation time given in the U.S. is fair compared to what the rest of the world receives,” TripAdvisor said.
  • What’s a vacation day worth? Twenty-one percent of Americans said they’d gladly accept a pay reduction in exchange for more time off. For each additional day of vacation, Americans said they’d be OK with cutting $350 from their pay.

A TripAdvisor survey press release said:

“The TripAdvisor survey shows that Americans receive less vacation time than other countries, and when they do take time off it is often more like a ‘workation’ than a vacation,” said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor. “In today’s highly connected world, most Americans feel the need to stay plugged in even while out of the office.”

I don’t usually work while on vacation. It’s important to me to be able to disconnect from work and focus solely on my family and our time together. My husband is the opposite, though not by choice. He is a co-owner and general manager of a business. The only time I recall that he was able to take time off from work without getting several calls each day was when we went on our honeymoon, eight years ago. He is constantly connected to work, regardless of whether he’s on vacation or not.

Do you work while on vacation, or do you disconnect from the office and relax? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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