More than half of workers aren’t using all of their vacation days, according to Fortune magazine.
In 2016, 54 percent of employees let go of 662 million vacation days collectively which resulted in an estimated $236 billion loss to the U.S. economy due to lost spending alone. Studies also showed that workers leaving vacation time on the table at the end of the year are typically worse performers on the job with a lower likelihood of being promoted or receiving raises and bonuses during the previous three years when compared to their less-stressed peers.
The main reasons that surveyed workers gave for not using all of their vacation time are that they feared returning to work with a backlog that they would need to catch up on. Many also felt discouraged from taking time off due to company cultures that shed a mixed or negative light on those individuals that took frequent breaks, a trend that has held true since at least 2014. Interestingly, the number of vacation days used on average in 2016 was 16.8 which is a move higher from 16.2 in 2015 and the low point of 16 in both 2013 and 2014. This jump was mostly due to a shift in men’s behavior as 48 percent of them used all their time compared to only 44 percent of women.