No days off: Coronavirus impacts workers’ vacation plans

BOSTON — The summer of 2020 will look very different from years past, with fewer workers taking time off.

The “No days off” mantra may work for Bill Belichick and the Patriots, but according to a recent survey by hiring firm Robert Half, it’s taking a toll on local workers.

According to the survey of more than 1,000 U.S. office workers:

  • Summer vacation time shrinking: 28% plan to take less time off this summer versus last.
  • Workers have wanderlust: 37% will save their vacation time for later in the year, with hope to travel.
  • Burnout may be around the corner: 14% feel they have too much on their plate to use vacation time.
  • Saving money is on the mind: 22% would like to take a vacation but are spending less due to the pandemic.
  • Self-care is important: 20% will take mental health days but not travel for leisure.

The survey also found 9% of workers were afraid to take time off, for fear of seeming unproductive and losing their jobs.

One problem with the lack of vacation time: workers could end up with more time than they can really use later in the year.

[It’s official: Phase 3 of reopening Massachusetts starts Monday]

“I tell everybody, it might not be the typical vacation but it is important to take that break and schedule a vacation around this time of year,” said Ryan Sutton, district president for technology and creative at Robert Half for New York and New England.

Another issue: mental burn out goes hand in hand with the lack of time off.

Sutton says workers and managers need to be proactive to prevent burn-out, possibly taking the built-up vacation days mid-week, to break up the work cycle.

“Say ‘I’m going to work Monday, Tuesday remotely, and I’m going to take Wednesday off for my family or my friends or for myself,’ …kind of breaking it up and taking those mental days.” Sutton told Boston 25 news. “It’s going to have, I believe, a lot of great value on the mental health on the productivity side and work life balance is key.”

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RESOURCES:

- Massachusetts Coronavirus Information

- Boston Coronavirus Information

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