Financial Setbacks Cause People to Forgo their Vacations

The job market today

Many workers have given up their vacation time as a result of the recession. With heavy cut-backs and layoffs, employees are trying their best to make an impression on their bosses. That means not giving them time to even consider letting them go. People these days see taking a vacation as giving an employer the chance to see how well the company runs – without them. According to a survey done by Right Management, a human resource consulting division of Manpower, 66% of workers ignored their accumulating vacation days in 2009. With layoffs at record highs last year, many people who are employed are treading carefully with their jobs. Since the recession, the economy has eliminated 2.7 million jobs.

Should workers go on vacation?

The question remains as to whether or not workers should take their entitled vacation time in spite of the economic climate. Researchers say they should. There have been studies done and each one shows that workers who don’t take vacation time throughout the year feel higher levels of stress and greater levels of disengagement at the workplace. In particular with the stress of today’s world, taking a vacation can be critical to keeping emotionally sound.

Many workers who have remained employed throughout the recession have suffered. Although access to financial tools like personal loans remained, stress levels were high. They have seen colleagues let go and have had to pick up their slack with no additional compensation. Add to that the emotional drain of hearing the employment rate still at an all-time high and that makes for a worker who is stressed and worried. When that is pushed to the max, it can be disastrous.

Taking a vacation in this economy

Many workers also believe that in the current economy they can’t afford a vacation. They believe it takes a good amount of discretionary spending to go on a vacation. There is the added stress of leaving that plagues them, and they opt to not go at all. Connie Thanasoulis, a career expert at, said, “It is silly to think that giving up vacation is going to make your colleagues think how important you are. Take your vacation and let them miss you.” Many vacation days are also not retroactive and once they are gone, they are gone for good.

It isn’t as difficult to take a vacation in the economy with a strict budget. Taking a few days to visit out-of-state friends or family can work well with a limited budget. In addition, today’s economy has pressed many vacation spots, hotels and bed and breakfasts to create deep discounts. A simple online search can bring a wide range of cost-effective places to go for any vacationer. Thanasoulis added, “Vacations are underrated. People think they are fluff. I believe they are crucial.”

The power of a vacation

Every worker in the market today has gone through their own strains and stresses. It’s not easy to perform at top performance while hearing that the job market eliminated over 2.7 million positions over the past two years. Of course people are worried, but there are emotional benefits of taking a break. Experts agree that vacations offer stress reduction, regeneration and rest and satisfy the innate need people have to feel that they are in control of their own time.