July 18, 2010
Your summer vacation situation revisited
[Photo by Rodarte's]
One week we hear that a glass of red a day can help ward off heart disease; the next we hear that a daily glass can trigger migraines, contribute to weight gain, or increase the risk of breast cancer in older women. So, too, it goes with studies on summer vacations.
First we're told that as a nation, we work too hard and leave too many unclaimed vacation days on the table. Next we're told that Americans who've chosen to travel this summer are downsizing their plans -- driving instead of flying, camping instead of staying in a hotel, taking a long weekend instead of a full week or two.
Now a new study from staffing firm Adecco tells us that 78 percent of 1,000 U.S. employees polled most certainly do plan to travel this summer -- worries about job security be damned. And, says Adecco, half of them plan to spend at least a solid week with their feet up.
There's more. According to Adecco, a majority of these summer travelers plan to completely unplug from the office while away, with only 37 percent checking their inboxes or phone messages from the road. In fact, 43 percent of these intrepid leisure seekers said they anticipated that their employer would wholeheartedly encourage them to take some time off this summer.
None of these new statistics surprises. Recessions come and go, but those who can afford to do so will always vacation. Likewise, there will always be vacationers who can't quite bring themselves to unplug -- even when relaxing in a cabin in the middle of nowhere -- just as there will always be vacationers who would rather eat beach glass than crack open their laptop while out of town.
Perhaps more notable are the ever-dwindling perks of being someone else's employee. According to Adecco, just 43 percent of workers polled said they expected their company to offer as many summer perks as they had in years past. Specifically, one in two employees suspected that this summer, their employer would pull the plug on everything from casual dress days to company-sponsored picnics, sporting events, and happy hours. And 58 percent said that this year, their employer wasn't offering reduced summer hours or more flexible work arrangements.
How about you? How do your company's summer perks compare to those of previous years? If you work in an office that usually clears out after lunch each Friday during summer, is this year any different? Are you and your co-workers currently telecommuting as much as you usually do during Seattle's sunny months? Is your employer footing the bill for any Mariners games or picnics this year? Do tell.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
Paul Anderson helps professionals in transition find their desired employment.
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