Welcome!

News Feed Item

Study: Fear Of Being Replaced And Poor Communication Prevent American Workers From Taking Time Off

"Work Martyr Complex" Emerges at Expense of Americans' Health and Well-Being

WASHINGTON, Aug. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Fear of being replaced and work piling up coupled with a lack of employer support and communication is keeping Americans from using the time off they have earned, according to the new study, "Overwhelmed America: Why Don't We Use Our Paid Time Off?" conducted by GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications (GfK) for the U.S. Travel Association's Travel Effect initiative. Despite a universal acceptance of the importance of paid time off (PTO), 40% of American workers will leave vacation days on the table, sacrificing their health and well-being and adopting a "work martyr complex" to demonstrate their value.  

U.S. Travel Association Travel Effect logo

The "Work Martyr Complex"
"Americans suffer from a work martyr complex. In part, it's because 'busyness' is something we wear as a badge of honor. But it's also because we're emerging from a tough economy and many feel less secure in their jobs," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. "Unfortunately, workers do not seem to realize that forfeiting their vacation time comes at the expense of their overall health, well-being and relationships."

Americans construct many of their own biggest barriers to using time off. Workers cite returning to a mountain of work (40%) and the feeling that nobody else can do their work (35%) as the top reasons they leave PTO unused. The effects of a tough economy still linger, with one-third (33%) of respondents saying they cannot afford to use their PTO, and a fifth (22%) of workers expressing concern that they do not want to be seen as replaceable.

Failure to Communicate
This "work martyr complex" is reinforced by company culture, chiefly poor communication around time off. Even though senior business leaders overwhelmingly recognize the importance of using time off (95%), two-thirds (67%) of American employees say their company says nothing, sends mixed messages about or discourages using their PTO. Further, one-third (33%) of senior business leaders state they never (19%) or rarely (14%) talk with employees about the benefits of taking time off.

The survey suggests that management may be unintentionally sending employees mixed messages when they take their time off. Nearly half (46%) keep responding to emails, while roughly three-in-ten (29%) return calls from work during their PTO, sending the signal that it is not acceptable to be away from the job. Additionally, senior business leaders are dramatically more likely to do work while taking time off: just 37% of senior business leaders reported unplugging entirely from work, compared to 74% of employees.

"Use it or Lose it" Motivates Time Off
"While the survey revealed a number of barriers to taking time off, it may have also uncovered the silver bullet," said Vice President of Research at GfK Chris Moessner. "'Use it or Lose it' policies are tremendously effective at getting employees to use the time off they have earned."

According to the study, company policy may most strongly influence employees' decisions to use time off. Five of six workers (84%) with a "Use it or Lose it" policy plan to use all their PTO in 2014, while less than half (48%) of workers who can roll over, bank or be paid out for their unused PTO plan to use all of it. But only one quarter (26%) of workers report that their employers have a "Use it or Lose it" policy.

"Companies and employees need to recognize the value of getting away from the office.  It's time to start a conversation and reclaim the benefits we work so hard to earn," concluded Dow.

Report Methodology
GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications conducted an online survey using the GfK KnowledgePanel® from June 20-30, 2014 with 1,303 American workers working at least 35 hours per week, including 235 managers, defined as those with managerial responsibilities for direct reports and involvement in the decision-making at their companies. GfK's KnowledgePanel® is the only large-scale online panel based on a representative random sample of the U.S. population. The data were weighted and scaled to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual population of American adults working 35 hours a week or more. The margin of error for workers overall is +/-2.71% and for managers is +/-6.39%.

About Travel Effect
Travel Effect is the U.S. Travel Association's research-driven initiative to prove the personal, business, social and economic benefits that taking earned time off can deliver. For more information about survey findings, visit TravelEffect.com.

About U.S. Travel Association
The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.1 trillion in economic output and supports 14.9 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. For more information, please visit USTravel.org.

About GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications
GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK's 80 years of data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers' experiences and choices. For more information, please visit GfK.com or follow GfK on Twitter: twitter.com/GfK_en.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140818/137083

SOURCE U.S. Travel Association

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Kubernetes is a new and revolutionary open-sourced system for managing containers across multiple hosts in a cluster. Ansible is a simple IT automation tool for just about any requirement for reproducible environments. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Patrick Galbraith, a principal engineer at HPE, discussed how to build a fully functional Kubernetes cluster on a number of virtual machines or bare-metal hosts. Also included will be a brief demonstration of running a Galera MyS...
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
"We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...
"We are an all-flash array storage provider but our focus has been on VM-aware storage specifically for virtualized applications," stated Dhiraj Sehgal of Tintri in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Between 2005 and 2020, data volumes will grow by a factor of 300 – enough data to stack CDs from the earth to the moon 162 times. This has come to be known as the ‘big data’ phenomenon. Unfortunately, traditional approaches to handling, storing and analyzing data aren’t adequate at this scale: they’re too costly, slow and physically cumbersome to keep up. Fortunately, in response a new breed of technology has emerged that is cheaper, faster and more scalable. Yet, in meeting these new needs they...
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busin...
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
SaaS companies can greatly expand revenue potential by pushing beyond their own borders. The challenge is how to do this without degrading service quality. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Adam Rogers, Managing Director at Anexia, discussed how IaaS providers with a global presence and both virtual and dedicated infrastructure can help companies expand their service footprint with low “go-to-market” costs.
Get deep visibility into the performance of your databases and expert advice for performance optimization and tuning. You can't get application performance without database performance. Give everyone on the team a comprehensive view of how every aspect of the system affects performance across SQL database operations, host server and OS, virtualization resources and storage I/O. Quickly find bottlenecks and troubleshoot complex problems.
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.