Why Are Americans Afraid To Use Vacation Days?

U.S. workers are taking the fewest vacation days in forty years.

Heigh-Ho, heigh-ho, it's off to work we go. And go. And go. 

Americans are known for long work days and 24/7 connection to employers. Now, a new study reports that U.S. workers are taking the fewest vacation days in four decades. 

Titled "All Work and No Pay: The Impact of Forfeited Time Off," the study was conducted for the U.S. Travel Association's Travel Effect Initiative, which studies the impact of lost vacation time. 

Americans didn't take a total of 169 million days of paid time off. This is "providing free labor for their employers, at an average of $504 per employee," according to the study.

Instead of embracing earned time off, Americans are fearful.  A survey taken in September found that only one in four workers felt that their job was secure.

Stress management trainer and coach Joe Robinson told CNN that "workers are afraid to take their vacations in the layoff era. It might mark them as less 'committed' than coworkers."

"It's called defensive overworking. They work long hours and skip vacations to insulate themselves from cutbacks," Robinson added.  Other reasons workers skip time off includes staff cutbacks increasing workloads, fear of getting behind and constant connection to work via technology. 

Wondering why you're burned out? Looking for work/life balance? Time to step away from your desk and onto a beach...or airplane...or anywhere but the office!


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