47: Percentage of workers who have gone a full calendar year without taking paid time off
A staggering 47% of employees say they have gone a full calendar year without taking any PTO, according to a survey of 2,000 full-time workers from Potawatomi Hotel.
What it means to HR leaders
The survey is the latest to indicate that many employees are not taking time off work—despite working harder and longer hours because of COVID-19.
The Potawatomi Hotel survey finds that one of the biggest reasons respondents say they avoid taking time off work is their workload. More than one in four (41%) feel their workload prevents them from taking PTO, followed by a lack of someone to cover for them if they did take time off. And unsurprisingly, COVID-19 is also taking a significant toll: 38% of employees have been hesitant to request PTO during COVID-19.
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Employees’ reluctance and hesitance to take time off present a significant challenge for employers as they witness soaring rates of employee burnout and depression. It also signals that employers, and HR leaders, have significant work to do in nudging employees to take time off. The pandemic is undoubtedly taking a toll on employees’ mental health, and not taking time off work to unwind is only exacerbating those issues, experts say.
“Even if [employees] can’t go anywhere, it’s still important to take time off and recharge,” Carly Moulton, senior communications specialist at Zapier, recently told HRE. “Many studies indicate the benefits to taking time off include increased productivity, creativity and performance, and a number of mental health benefits.”