This summer, workers might be feeling more heat from their overused laptops than beach-time sun.
The winter brought flurries of layoffs that left companies across industries with less labor power. All the while, record inflation has weighed on consumers’ wallets.
With smaller company staffs, employees have found themselves with heavier workloads. The result: 68% of Americans report that they work on vacation, according to a May survey from online learning platform Elvtr. The study polled 1,800 U.S. workers and 500 from Canada.
And that’s if they take a vacation at all. With slimmer spending power, consumers have strained their budgets to afford travel.
According to a report by market research firm Harris Poll and the HR software platform Ceridian, 67% of American employees who planned to take a summer vacation this year say that might no longer be possible. Over a third say it’s because travel has gotten too expensive due to inflation while another 32% either attribute it to the fact that their job has become too busy or there is no one to handle their work responsibilities while they are away.
The “workation” — doing professional tasks while on vacation — used to be a perk of the growing movement toward remote work: As more companies gave employees the ability to work from anywhere, some thought, why not make ‘anywhere’ a tropical coast on a weeklong beach trip?
Now, the workation seems to have become a requirement in some sectors.
‘Every profession is feeling the effects’
Elvtr’s poll found that workers are sacrificing vacation time across all industries, from software and IT to health care to finance and more.
“It’s evident that the economic downturn doesn’t discriminate. The reality is, every profession is feeling the effects,” Roman Peskin, cofounder and CEO of Elvtr, tells CNBC Make It.
It’s also not the first time that workloads have interfered with PTO. Last year, a survey from Korn Ferry found that 63% of professionals reported they would shorten their vacations to accommodate a heavier to-do list. And by the end of the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, most Americans cut their time off.
More hours logged at work has taken a toll. Another survey from Ceridian found that 87% of workers across the world have experienced some level of burnout over the past year.
“Employers need to create space for people to log off and get away so they can rest, recuperate and recharge. The inability to fully disconnect is leading to very high levels of burnout in the workforce,” says Michelle Bonam, Ceridian’s vice president of organizational effectiveness.
She also says that employees should remember that taking time to rest can often make you more productive than continuing to work.
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