by CIO Staff

Businesspeople Don’t Take Enough Vacation

Jun 14, 20053 mins

Not only are businesspeople not taking all the vacation they are due, but many also are not taking enough true vacation. We know from our recent nationwide research that senior executives and managers are not taking near the vacation time they are due.

However, what may be even worse is that some of the vacation time that is taken is not really a vacation after all. While vacation technically is for taking a break from work for rest and relaxation, not all vacations end up that way.

Because of the demands of work, some managers find themselves getting shorter and shorter “vacations” while others don’t truly detach while on those vacations.

“I probably won’t be able to take more than four to five days at any one time,” said one survey respondent.

“I’ll only take two weeks straight, the other vacation is for long weekends or random days,” said another.

While better than no time at all, too short a period of time doesn’t allow enough time for a total re-charge. Anyone who has been through a tough few months in a row at the office knows that it takes several days just to begin to unwind, never mind totally relax.

“As executives and founders of a small and growing business, it is impossible for us to get away for even an entire week without being in touch with employees and checking progress,” said another respondent. “It’s beginning to weigh on us emotionally and physically. When we tell someone we are taking four or five days without any cell phones or e-mail, they are shocked since they say they can’t. What I find shocking is that the world has so evolved that people can’t, won’t or feel guilty about totally checking out of business for time off.”

Said another: “Most vacation here is taken in two- to three-day increments vs. a solid week or two-week period.”

To take at least something of a break, some look to pick up days here and there.

“I am trying to take some Fridays off to make a long weekend, but usually still check email if I can and I do have the cell phone with me,” said one manager. “Even on longer vacations, I almost always have cell phone and communicate with the office.”

“Current executives have multiple needs for their own down time,” said another. “Executives really need a full, uninterrupted week as a minimum to recharge in today’s business environment.”

The amount of consecutive vacation time needs to be increased for many. In addition, that vacation time should be more focused on vacation.

Because of technology ranging from cell phones to e-mail and voice mail, many find it too easy to stay in touch with the office rather than take a total break.

And with BlackBerrys, ubiquitous Internet, laptops and cell phones, vacation time is not really completely disconnected from the office any more. So the time off is less than it appears.

“I am 51 years old, and vacation is more important to me now than ever,” said one respondent. “Without the opportunity for renewal, personal reflection and just plain old-fashioned rest, employees become less productive, less creative and more susceptible to injury and illness. Vacation is actually an enhancement to productivity.”

In addition to taking the vacation that is due, executives and managers should also attempt to make sure their vacation really is a break.