Our Northwest

NW Poll says 1 in 5 took zero vacation

Thursday, June 18, 2015by  Jon Osterberg

I love vacation. Counting long weekends, my wife and I take off at least three weeks each year.
     So the results of our latest PEMCO Poll surprised me: 21% of Northwest residents said they took no time off for vacation last year.
     Zilch. Not even one day.
     And in a typical year, 1 in 4 residents use less than 75% of the vacation time they’ve earned.
     Does that surprise you? Or is it just me?
     Much hype is given to the importance of “work-life balance,” yet many of our Northwest neighbors apparently thumb their noses at such a notion.
     Our poll also revealed that of those people who do take time off for leisure, many don’t fully relax: 25% admit they’re “not likely” or “not at all likely” to completely disconnect from checking in on work with their smartphones, tablets, or computers.
     Another 24% of those people say they’re only “somewhat likely” to tune out.
     Perhaps we need to drill deeper in a future poll to learn why some people pass up vacation. Do they feel compelled by their employers to stay? Do they worry someone will outshine them in their absence?
     Or do they simply love their work so much, they don’t want to leave?
     PEMCO encourages its employees to use their vacation time, for leisure and relaxation. That way, we’ll return refreshed and ready to meet the challenges ahead. In fact, we have a “use it or lose it” vacation policy.
     In my household, it’s not uncommon to start planning vacation once the new year rolls in. We love summer and start penciling in road trips, campouts, Chelan visits, and other sun-drenched fun.
     Oh, as for so-called “stay-cations” – perhaps they’re a thing of the past. Just 11% of Northwest residents said they spent vacation in the town where they live. The recession must truly be over.

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