Vacation time is at the center of a heated debate in today’s workforce. Some employees show off their unused vacation like a badge of honor and claim to have never taken a day off in five years. Others quietly scuttle out of the office and hope no one notices their absence.

Why are we so afraid of using our vacation time? Are we really worried about the office crumbling to the ground, or are we secretly insecure that no one will miss us? To answer this, we looked at who was taking vacation time and what they did while they’re away.

Check out the infographic below to learn more about the state of vacation time in 2016.


Embed this infographic on your site:

The higher your position within the company, the fewer vacation days you’re likely to take. This plays into our theory that managers are afraid to leave employees by themselves and don’t trust their staff to solve problems on their own. Even managers and CEOs who do take vacation aren’t completely checked out of the office. According to, 50% of executives plan to check in regularly during their time off. Our digital world means upper management never truly signs off to enjoy their vacation time.

The root of this refusal to disconnect stems from a lack of trust with employees and team members. In fact, CheatSheet found one of the top reasons for missed vacation days is managers who think no one else can do their jobs.

Are they really doing work that no one else in the company can handle, or do they just refuse to train their employees?

If a manager wants to really disconnect when they’re on vacation, or at least leave the office long enough to take a vacation, they need to hire trustworthy employees and train them to be self-sufficient. Apparently, this is easier said than done. CareerBuilder found that 47% of employers said finding qualified candidates is the hardest part of the hiring process. Most companies are looking for soft skills such as critical thinking, teamwork and leadership ahead of actual job skills and training. This proves that an employee who can be left alone to do their work is more valuable than one with technical knowledge but no discipline.

With the right team, it’s up to management to create an environment where employees will continue working when they’re away. This includes setting up incentive programs, meeting with their teams to clarify expectations, and creating backup plans in case something goes wrong. All of these systems will make sure your team has the resources — and motivation — to produce great work without the physical presence of management.

As a manager, you’re doing more harm than good to the company by failing to use your vacation time: The New York Times reports that employees who use their vacation time receive significantly higher performance reviews — by almost 10%.

Don’t use your vacation time to benefit the company. Use it for your own benefit, and just maybe you could enjoy a bigger pay raise at the end of the year.

You must be logged in to post a comment.