Vacation trumps benefits

Half of workers in the nation's largest cities would take more PTO over employee benefits

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Workers in the nation's largest cities are so desperate for more vacation, they'd be willing to trade an employee benefit like the 401(k) match.

On the other hand, more than half (57 percent) of workers who receive paid time off don't use it, according to Denver-based Inspirato, a members-only luxury destination club.

Inspirato polled more than 2,000 adults in 10 large cities, including Los Angeles and New York City. Workers said the prospect of more time off would tempt them to give up a higher salary or promotion (10 percent), a bonus (16 percent), and a 401(k) match (10 percent).

Not even a private office can beat time off—25 percent said they'd give that up, too.

The one thing workers are least likely to take over vacation is a pay cut (5 percent).

“As a dedicated entrepreneur currently in the midst of growing my own business, I can relate to how easy it can be to put off taking time for yourself and your family,” said Brent Handler, founder and CEO of Inspirato. “The opinions reflected in this survey reinforce the importance that vacations play in our lives. It’s encouraging to see that people recognize how vital it is to consider time away from work as essential—and even more critical than many of the valuable benefits that employees enjoy.”

A majority—85 percent—of survey respondents indicated their employer provides a paid vacation benefit, with an average of just over 19 days per year.

Workers are willing to give up more than just employee benefits for more vacation time, Inspirato also found. Eighty percent said they'd skip a baptism, graduation, wedding, funeral or dinner party hosted by a boss. 

“What’s interesting about this data is to see such different attitudes toward vacations—particularly among the four mega cities on the East Coast—Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.,” said Regina Corso, senior vice president, Harris Poll and Public Relations, Harris Interactive. “Boston and Philadelphia are less likely to leave any vacation days on the table at the end of a year, while over half of New Yorkers and two-thirds of those in Washington, D.C. do leave some vacation time unused.”

Inspirato conducted its survey in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

According to a different vacation survey by Fierce, a Seattle-based leadership and training company, worker stress isn't alleviated by the vacation they desire so much. In fact, almost 30 percent feel more stressed after they return from vacation.

Almost half of workers check into work while they're on vacation at least every other day, and 6.5 percent check in multiple times per day.

Fierce says it is putting its own techniques to practice by giving its workers unlimited vacation time.

"For any company or organization to achieve success in today’s marketplace, it’s critical to develop techniques, such as delegation practices, that allow employees to take stress-relieving, battery-recharging vacations,” said Halley Bock, CEO of Fierce, Inc.



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