Virtual Offices Offer Stay-cation Freedom

CHICAGO—On Friday, we looked at how many Americans are giving up their vacations for financial reasons—and how allowing employees to telecommute from a virtual office a few days over the summer might help reduce burnout.

The article was based on a CareerBuilder survey, which found that 19 percent of workers said they can't afford to go on vacation, which is down from 24 percent in 2011. The CareerBuilder survey also offered other vacation trend insights.

1. The duration of vacations is shrinking post-recession.
This year, 17 percent of workers took or planned to take a vacation for 10 days or more. That's down from 24 percent in 2007.

2. Many workers contact work while on vacation. Three in ten workers contact work during their vacation, on par with last year. Thirty-seven percent of managers say they expect their employees to check with work while on vacation, although most say only if the employee is involved in a big project or major issue going on with the company. This is where virtual office technologies can really streamline operations. You don’t want employees to have to work during vacation, but if they have to join a conference call you want to make it as simple as possible.

3. Employees are letting paid time off go to waste. Fifteen percent of workers reported they gave up vacation days last year because they didn't have time to use them, down slightly from 16 percent who gave up days in 2010.

4. "Stay-cations" are a popular option. Thirty-eight percent of workers stayed home or are planning to stay home this year. This is another place where virtual offices can help employees take some downtime without totally abandoning the team during a major project.

5. Working while the family vacations is fairly common. Twenty-three percent of workers say they once had to work while the family went on vacation without them, consistent with last year (24 percent). Again, virtual offices should free employees, not tie them down. Whether employees choose to take vacations, stay-cations, or no down time at all, virtual offices can give employees more freedom.


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