Survey Shows Taking Too Little Time Off is Workers’ Biggest Vacation Mistake

MENLO PARK, CA -- Employees planning personal travel this summer may want to tack on a few extra days, a new survey suggests.  Forty-three percent of workers polled said the biggest mistake they made with their last vacation was taking insufficient time off.

The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in highly skilled administrative professionals.  It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 571 men and women, all 18 years of age or older and employed.

Survey respondents were asked, “Which one of the following was the biggest mistake you made when you took your last vacation from work?”  Their responses: 

Didn’t take enough time off   43%
Couldn’t relax or get your mind off work   17%
Checked in with the office too much   8%
Didn’t prepare or organize your work well prior to leaving   7%
Something else/none of the above   23%
Don’t know/no answer   2%

“Employees fearful of falling behind on projects or not seeming like team players often put off vacations or limit breaks to long weekends,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam.  “Lean staffing levels in recent years have left many professionals with increased pressure at work, but this makes the need to recharge more vital than ever.”

Domeyer notes that collaborating with coworkers can help staff members rest easy while away.  “Inform colleagues of the status of key projects before you leave and designate a point person in your absence.  Also, consider which tasks a temporary or project professional could assume.”

Domeyer offered these tips for getting the most benefit from your vacations:

  • Use history as your guide.  Consider your last vacation, including what you did, how much time you took and whether or not you felt reinvigorated on your return.  This experience should serve as a basis for planning your next break.
  • Resist the urge to check in.  Change your voicemail and e-mail to let colleagues know you’re away.  Don’t contact the office unless it is necessary.  The more connected to work you are, the less time you have to unwind.
  • Avoid scheduling too many meetings for the day you return.  You’ll need time to address immediate issues, catch up on e-mail and get updates from coworkers on the status of projects. 
  • Seize the day.  Don’t wait until you’re in dire need of a vacation to take one; regular breaks can keep you motivated all year long.

OfficeTeam has more than 300 locations worldwide and offers online job search

services at www.officeteam.com.

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