Do Virtual Office Workers Need As Much Vacation Time?

TORONTO—Since virtual office workers typically work from home, does that mean virtual office workers don’t need as much vacation time? I imagine most virtual office workers would protest such an idea.

A new survey from Right Management, the talent and career management expert within ManpowerGroup, suggests that most employees failed to use all of their vacation time in 2012 no matter what their work arrangement happened to be.

Specifically, 70 percent of respondents indicated that they did not take all vacation time due them, while just 30 percent said they took advantage of every single vacation day available to them. The findings are consistent with those of a Right Management poll a year ago, where 70 percent reported not using all their vacation time in 2011.

Although that figure doesn’t cull out virtual office users, I imagine virtual office users are among the most likely not to take all the vacation time due to them. Virtual office workers, despite myths, tend to be more productivity-minded and end up taking on more work than their office-based counterparts. That may make it harder to leverage vacation days.

“Such a reluctance to take all of one’s vacation is a sign of an intense, pressure filled workplace,” says Monika Morrow, senior vice president Career Management at Right Management. “This is a trend that’s grown during the recession and we may in fact have a new norm, which would be unfortunate. However important devotion to the job may be, there has to be some balance and vacation is so important to one’s health and happiness.”

Morrow advised senior management not just to encourage employees to take their vacation, but also to be sure to take their own. As she sees it, it’s the boss who sets the example and sends the message--and if the boss won’t take all of his or her vacation, then workers will pick up on that and may be inclined not to use all theirs.

“After all, vacation is essential for a healthy and productive workforce. For someone to skip a few days off may not be significant, but when each year it seems to become most employees doing so then something’s not right,” Morrow says. “Who could be surprised, in time, by unnecessary turnover, declining retention, higher absenteeism or more frequent health or safety claims?”


Archive Show Archives