Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Where Are They Really Taking Those Eight Days?

According to a new study conducted by the folks at Universal Orlando Resort and Bert Sperling, Americans are foregoing 8 days of earned vacation per year on average. This is particularly prevalent in the Northeast, and in areas recently hit by tech industry collapse or experiencing significant unemployment.

"Universal Orlando Resort and Bert Sperling, founder of Sperling’s BestPlaces, compiled “vacation crisis” scores based on the amount of vacation days people in the 51 largest U.S. metro areas earned on average, and what percentage of those people reported taking vacation the week before being surveyed."

What's interesting are the geographic distinctions. Cities reporting the greatest "all work - no play" inbalances are:

1. Newark, NJ
2. Miami, FL
3. Bergen-Passaic, NJ
4. San Antonio, TX
5. Atlanta, GA
6. Austin – San Marcos, TX
7. Charlotte – Gastonia – Rock Hill, NC
8. Philadelphia, PA
9. Houston, TX
10. New York, NY

At the opposite end of the spectrum, we look West to cities like:

1. Sacramento, CA
2. Nashville, TN
3. Seattle – Bellevue- Everett, WA
4. Oakland, CA
5. San Jose, CA
6. Riverside – San Bernardino, CA
7. Portland – Vancouver, OR
8. Salt Lake City – Ogden, UT
9. Columbus, OH
10. Denver, CO

According to the article, and most studies we've read, passing up vacation leads to more stress, higher incident of illness and an overall decrease in the quality of work. While productivity numbers may lead one to the opposite conclusion (after all, they are at work) we expect that the growth in presenteeism in the workplace is on the rise East of the Mississippi.

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