Downturn prompting more people to forgo vacation

On the Job

June 25, 2008|By HANAH CHO

Welcome to vacation season.

About 69 percent of workers take time off between Memorial Day and Labor Day, according to a new survey of 2,033 employees by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Inc., a work force management firm.

Of course, the challenge for employers is making sure there's enough staff to man the office, meet deadlines and get work done. The Kronos survey found that 21 percent of employees have been denied a particular vacation time because a co-worker had already requested it. But it's becoming more difficult to go on vacation these days because of skyrocketing gas prices. Increasing workload and concerns over the slumping economy are apparently increasing pressure on workers to give up a break altogether.

A new survey by career site Yahoo HotJobs found that 51 percent of workers plan to forgo their vacation this year. (More than 1,100 workers nationwide participated in the online survey.)

That's an increase from 45 percent of employees who did not use their vacation days last summer.

"The economic downturn is leading to layoffs and stretched resources, which in turn leads to increased workloads and pressure to improve performance," says Tom Musbach, senior managing editor at the HotJobs site.

Musbach says that workers need a break more than ever to avoid burnout.

So don't feel guilty, take that much-needed respite. I know I will.

Workplace tidbit: It may be tempting to wear those cutoff shorts or slinky tank top to work to ward off the heat this summer. But think again.

A new survey by found that 41 percent of employers say workers who dress better or more professionally tend to be promoted more often than others in the office. The survey included 2,765 respondents and has a margin of error of 1.9 percentage points.

The survey also found that some employers have banned flip-flops (64 percent), miniskirts (49 percent) and jeans (28 percent).

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