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
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Both SaaS vendors and SaaS buyers are going “all-in” to hyperscale IaaS platforms such as AWS, which is disrupting the SaaS value proposition. Why should the enterprise SaaS consumer pay for the SaaS service if their data is resident in adjacent AWS S3 buckets? If both SaaS sellers and buyers are using the same cloud tools, automation and pay-per-transaction model offered by IaaS platforms, then why not host the “shrink-wrapped” software in the customers’ cloud? Further, serverless computing, cl...
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, posited that disruption is inevitable for comp...
Wooed by the promise of faster innovation, lower TCO, and greater agility, businesses of every shape and size have embraced the cloud at every layer of the IT stack – from apps to file sharing to infrastructure. The typical organization currently uses more than a dozen sanctioned cloud apps and will shift more than half of all workloads to the cloud by 2018. Such cloud investments have delivered measurable benefits. But they’ve also resulted in some unintended side-effects: complexity and risk. ...
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, discussed some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and related how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material was delivered interac...
It is ironic, but perhaps not unexpected, that many organizations who want the benefits of using an Agile approach to deliver software use a waterfall approach to adopting Agile practices: they form plans, they set milestones, and they measure progress by how many teams they have engaged. Old habits die hard, but like most waterfall software projects, most waterfall-style Agile adoption efforts fail to produce the results desired. The problem is that to get the results they want, they have to ch...
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
"We are a monitoring company. We work with Salesforce, BBC, and quite a few other big logos. We basically provide monitoring for them, structure for their cloud services and we fit into the DevOps world" explained David Gildeh, Co-founder and CEO of Outlyer, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Doug Vanderweide, an instructor at Linux Academy, discussed why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers wit...
While DevOps most critically and famously fosters collaboration, communication, and integration through cultural change, culture is more of an output than an input. In order to actively drive cultural evolution, organizations must make substantial organizational and process changes, and adopt new technologies, to encourage a DevOps culture. Moderated by Andi Mann, panelists discussed how to balance these three pillars of DevOps, where to focus attention (and resources), where organizations might...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ara...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
When growing capacity and power in the data center, the architectural trade-offs between server scale-up vs. scale-out continue to be debated. Both approaches are valid: scale-out adds multiple, smaller servers running in a distributed computing model, while scale-up adds fewer, more powerful servers that are capable of running larger workloads. It’s worth noting that there are additional, unique advantages that scale-up architectures offer. One big advantage is large memory and compute capacity...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists examined how DevOps helps to meet the de...