Vacation Time Not Providing Rest, Relief For Many Americans

June 28, 2018

For too many American workers, the benefits of taking vacation time vanish all too quickly. According to the 2018 Work and Well-Being Study from the American Psychological Association, 24% of working adults say the positive effects of time off disappear immediately upon returning to work. Forty percent say the benefits disappear within a few days.

The APA's Dr. David Ballard told KRLD's Mitch Carr, "You come back from time off, and you return to a mountain of work that's piled up while you were out. So your workload is actually heavier than it was when you left, and you're also having to deal with whatever problems accumulated while you were away."

The survey says 21% of workers even feel stressed while they are on vacation. Dr. Ballard says, "People need time off from work to recover from stress and prevent burnout." He says employers also play a key role in this equation, adding "Less than half of U.S. workers said that their organization's culture encourages people to take time off. About a third said their workload makes it hard for them to take off, and about a quarter worry that they are going to miss important information or opportunities. Or they say they avoid taking time off because they feel guilty if they do.

The APA found that in organizations where time off is encouraged, 64% of employees said their company provides sufficient resources to help them manage stress. Dr. Ballard says employers that encourage time off and provide the proper resources for handling stress tend to be more successful.

See the 2018 Work and Well-Being Study at