SURVEY SAYS: Fears About Taking Vacation

We recently covered a survey in which respondents express fears about taking vacation—from projects not moving along to coming back to a ridiculous workload.

By Rebecca Moore | June 05, 2017
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Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “What are your fears about taking vacation?”

The answer selected by the biggest number of readers (38.3%) is ‘I will return to an unsurmountable amount of work,’ followed by 36.2% who chose ‘No one will cover my work.’ Nearly three in ten responding readers (27.7%) said they had no fears, and that someone will need them while they are on vacation.

‘Those covering my work will not do a good job’ and ‘Projects I’ve been working on will come to a stand-still’ were each selected by 21.3% of respondents. Slightly more than 6% fear they will miss an important announcement, and slightly more than 4% fear daily productivity will slow.

“Other” responses included:

  • That the vacation time will go by so quickly it will feel like I never took it,
  • Lack of communication to get up to speed upon return.
  • The cost,
  • That I may not want to return,
  • Extra hours required before and after a vacation,
  • They'll find out I'm a fraud!!!!,
  • Not having a job to come back to when I return, and
  • I fear I might relax and enjoy it. That's just not right.

In verbatim comments, quite a few people said they fear they will not want to come back to work. Many complained about the scramble to work before vacation to get things in order then the work after vacation to catch up. However, there were readers that said there is no reason to fear taking a vacation or even with the fears, they still disconnect from work while on vacation. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “I'm the only one who does my job, so when I go on vacation the work doesn't go away. That said, I don't fear vacation because 1) if I drop dead life at the office will still go on and 2) no use worrying about what I cannot control. Taking time off means disconnecting so you can recharge and be a better employee, so something better be on fire and I'm holding the only extinguisher if you're calling me while I'm out.” 

Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey!