vacation pool

Half of working Americans (49 percent) would accept a job with no vacation time if they were paid more, according to a survey that is part of the 11th Annual Vacation Confidence Index released Aug. 20 by Allianz Global Assistance, a travel insurance and assistance company.

Millennials (63 percent, compared to 47 percent of Gen Xers and 32 percent of Baby Boomers) and men (57 percent, versus 41 percent of women) are the most likely to sacrifice paid time off for higher salaries.

“We asked Americans to literally put a price tag on their vacation days, and one-third of U.S. workers said they would be willing to take a pay cut in exchange for unlimited paid time off,” said Daniel Durazo, director of marketing and communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. 

“Meanwhile, half of Americans say they wouldn’t accept a job with zero paid time off regardless of the salary,” he said.

The average American who would give up paid vacation time for a salary increase would require a 48 percent raise to do so, though a sizable one in five were willing to give up their paid time off for an increase of 24 percent or less.

One-third (29 percent) would need 25-49 percent more, 35 percent would need 50-99 percent more, and 16 percent would need double their salary to take this offer. 

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On the flip side, the Vacation Confidence Index also explored the worth of unlimited vacation time, an increasingly popular workplace trend. 

One in three Americans (34 percent) would give up a portion of their paycheck for unlimited vacation, with Millennials (41 percent) even more likely to do so. 

Millennials are the most likely to say they’d both give up vacation time for salary, and give up salary for vacation time, highlighting how important professional success and personal flexibility is to this generation. 

Another survey takeaway found that more than one in ten Americans (12 percent) already have unlimited vacation.

Of those who would forfeit a portion of their salary for unlimited time off, the average respondents would be willing to give up 26 percent, with Millennials willing to forgo 32 percent. Nearly one-quarter of these respondents (22 percent) would be willing to give up over half their salary, while 21 percent would give up 25-49 percent and the majority (57 percent) would give up 24 percent or less.

“Meanwhile, half of Americans say they wouldn’t accept a job with zero paid time off regardless of the salary,” he said.

Another survey found that about half of working Americans would tell their employers little white lies about Wi-Fi access and cell reception to avoid checking into the office while they’re on vacation.

“Most working Americans feel pressured to spend their vacations attached to their work email, when they may just need a few days to unplug,” Durazo said. 

About 49 percent of working people who responded to the survey said it would be acceptable to make excuses to avoid “email creep” — when work obligations encroach on personal time.

Email creep affects two thirds (65 percent) of workers who feel the need to check in with the office while on vacation, and using limited phone service or Wi-Fi in a vacation destination has become the excuse du jour for employees this summer.

Most likely to use the excuse are Millennials (59 percent), followed by Gen Xers (49 percent) and Boomers (32 percent).

Who is the most likely person to pull the “I’m cutting out” excuse? A white (53 percent), college-educated (50 percent) Millennial (59 percent) who is married (53 percent) with children (53 percent) and working full time (50 percent) for an annual salary more than $50,000 (53 percent) in the Northeast (53 percent).

A quarter of all working Americans (24 percent), meanwhile, make a point not to go on vacation in places where poor cell reception or Wi-Fi access could disrupt their connection to the office.

Millennials (74 percent) are the most likely to check email while on vacation, but the rate is also high for Gen Xers (58 percent) and Boomers (63 percent). The most common reason: It makes catching up on work easier when returning to the office (34 percent).

Eight percent of workers say they’re not expected to check email while on vacation but feel guilty if they don’t, and 35 percent say they don’t check email on vacation.

Despite the pressures to stay online and connected to the office, the majority of working Americans (54 percent) would choose to work even more while away if it meant they were able to take more vacations throughout the year. 

Millennials (64 percent) are more likely to say they would rather go on more vacations but have to check in on work more. Boomers were more likely (54 percent) to prefer fewer vacations if it means they could be unplugged from the office.

Ipsos, a global market and opinion research firm, conducted the polls on behalf of Allianz Global Assistance. A sample of 1,005 Americans from the Ipsos I-Say panel was interviewed May 1-2, 2019.

To view the video highlighting key findings, see the link here.

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