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U.S. workers using less vacation time, survey says

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Online travel agent Expedia.com probably didn’t hear what it wanted to hear when it conducted its ninth annual travel survey. More than a third of workers said they won’t use all of their vacation this year.

The primary reason cited? Work-related pressure.

Vacation appears to be another victim of the tight economy. Workers—balancing work demands and tighter travel budgets—are electing to stay in the office rather than go to the beach.

According to the survey, employees will take three fewer vacation days than they earn this year. Those taking vacations plan to break up their time off. Only 10% of U.S. workers plan to take a two-week vacation. Just 39% of respondents said they plan to take one complete week off. They said they’ll use the rest of their vacation time as single days off throughout the year.

The current crisis atmosphere may make employees work harder in the short term, but both employers and employees may pay a high price later if employees burn out. Employers may wish to encourage workers to take all of their vacation—even if they just stay home. In the long run, it will pay dividends in lower turnover rates, enhanced productivity and lower health care costs.

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