Workers use only about half of their vacation time

Key Points
  • Employees in the U.S. only use about half of their paid time off, according to Glassdoor.
  • Two-thirds of those who do take time off report doing at least some work while they are away.
  • Nearly 1 in 10 take no paid time off at all.
Florida travel just got a little less expensive.
Christian Wheatley | Getty Images

As the unofficial start to summer kicks off this weekend, many workers are planning their vacations — at least in theory.

In fact, workers in this country leave much of their paid time off on the table, according to a recent report by jobs and recruitment website Glassdoor. It said workers on average use only 54 percent of their eligible vacation time.

Of employees who get paid time off, more than 90 percent have taken at least some of those days over the last 12 months, Glassdoor said, yet only 23 percent took all of the time they were entitled to. In fact, 9 percent took no paid time off at all.

"Many people are nervous or scared that no one else can do the work when they are out or that they might get behind or that it might impact their chances of getting a promotion," said Glassdoor's trends analyst Scott Dobroski. "That is not healthy."

In addition, about two-thirds of those who do take time off report doing at least some work while they are on vacation, up from recent years, Glassdoor said. The job site polled more than 2,000 adults in March and April.

More now also say they are expected to be reachable and jump in if an issue needs their attention while they are away, according to Glassdoor.

"We are seeing a push-and-pull situation when it comes to employees taking vacation and paid time off, in which people attempt to step away from the office for a break from work, but technology is keeping them connected," said Carmel Galvin, Glassdoor's chief human resources officer.

Still, vacation days are considered one of the most important workplace benefits, second only to health insurance, according to a separate report by Glassdoor.