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Workaholic Americans don't take all their vacation

Not only are US workers not taking as much time off as they could, but most end up taking their work with them when they do manage to get out of the office.

By Money Staff Apr 3, 2014 11:42AM

This post comes from Allison Linn at partner site CNBC.


CNBC on MSN MoneyMore proof that Americans are workaholics: Even when we get paid vacation, many of us don't take it.


A new survey of employees finds that only 25 percent of employees with paid time off took all of their vacation days last year.


Businesswoman working at computer © Jose Luis Pelaez Inc, Blend Images, Getty ImagesWhat's worse, 15 percent took none of their vacation days at all. The rest took some portion of the days they were allotted, according to the data released Thursday by employment website Glassdoor.


Even when employees took vacation, many ended up working. More than half of the employees who took vacation said they did some work while they were supposed to be off, according to the Glassdoor data.


Glassdoor's data are based on a Harris Poll of about 2,000 adults, including about 1,000 full- and part-time employees who were included in the questions about vacation.


The findings are in keeping with other research showing that Americans are likely to leave at least some of their vacation on the table, even when they are granted it.


Of course, not all Americans are even getting the option of a paid vacation. The Glassdoor survey found that 78 percent of employees surveyed receive vacation or paid time off, while the remaining 22 percent reported not getting any paid vacation or time off.


Other researchers have found that the United States is an outlier when it comes to vacation. The Center for Economic and Policy Research, a left-leaning think tank, released a report last year showing that the United States is the only highly developed nation that doesn't require employers to offer paid vacation time.


CEPR said its analysis found that 77 percent of U.S. workers get paid vacation time, and on average those workers receive 13 days of paid time off a year.


That's in sharp contrast to countries including France, the United Kingdom and Germany, where workers have the right to more than three weeks of paid vacation.


You don't necessarily have to move to Europe to get that kind of perk—a select few U.S. companies buck the overall trend and offer their employees unlimited vacation.


More from CNBC

10Comments
Apr 3, 2014 1:41PM
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No, Americans aren't workaholics, they're scared that they will lose their jobs if they take too much time off for a vacation (which has been a corporate trend for the past 10 years now), and they also keep some vacation time as a buffer for layoffs (which is also a common occurrence in this economy). Keeping a buffer gives an employee a bigger payout during a layoff which can help offset the longer time that it now takes to find replacement employment.

We, as Americans, spend too much money and live in a material society.  We also need to start making more intelligent financial decisions.  Americans should cut up their credit cards, rent cheaply (never get a mortgage if you can't afford it), stop eating out, order food online in bulk (walmart's website), drive a cheap car (honda civic is a good start), get cheap car insurance ($25/month from Insurance Panda), stop traveling at every chance you get, start a side business, etc.  When we stop being slaves to society, the banks, and our jobs, then we will be happier.

In summary - Americans are not workaholics. Americans are petrified of losing their pathetic jobs because they are slaves to the system.
Apr 3, 2014 2:14PM
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Unfortunately many of us have been forced to take low paying jobs when the economy tanked: and are living paycheck to paycheck without any luxuries.  Vacation is a luxury.  I hate these stupid articles, which assume we all have good paying jobs with benefits.  To have that, in itself, would be a relief.
Apr 3, 2014 1:53PM
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I worked in the construction trades for nearly 50 years.  We had no paid vacations until the last decade I worked before retirement.  During my time we worked all the hours we could in anticipation of slower times ahead.  Yes, I missed a lot of family time and watching our daughter grow up. 

We were always told to take off however much time you could afford (no forthcoming checks).  We survived and now we travel without any money worries. 

Hard work never hurt anyone and at 70 I am positive about life and cherish the journey.  Yes, I have paid dues for working hard and missing a lot of family time.  I have two knees totally replaced, a heart attack with resulting of 4 by passes.  Still I love the opportunity to live here and all things in life.


I am a liberal Democrat,  I love my country  and support our military.  Yes, I have loaded guns at hand and will never give them away. 

Welfare has never been necessary for my family and I am thankful for that.  I support those who need assistance and hope they have a better day.  I worked and paid taxes for those of us who are less fortunate.

No one grew up poorer than I and had to wash dishes throughout high school to help Mom.  I worked hard a long time.

My friends are people from all walks of life and of all political views. 

I have no time for the haters!

Apr 3, 2014 2:31PM
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Most positions in companies are "short staffed" and corporate greed doesn't allow for the job to be done right with appropriate time off. In addition, most positions don't have cross training and when you leave, you come back to a bigger mess! So it is easier to just work!!!
Apr 3, 2014 7:24PM
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Republican Paul Ryan's 2015 budget calls for more Tax cuts for the rich and ultra rich.

Don't vote against your own best interest people of America.  Vote out all republicans in November 2014.

Apr 3, 2014 2:43PM
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Gary Mills, I am truly sorry for the typo. NOT GAY ment to spell GARY out, having trouble with the keyboard. Sorry Again.
Apr 3, 2014 2:40PM
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Gay liberal democrat I think not! Just plain and outright morally straight, common sence wise, grateful and deep rooted American.
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