Last updated: 09:34 PM ET, Wed October 12 2016

Unused Vacation Time Now Totals $272 Billion in America

Features & Advice | Donald Wood | October 12, 2016

Unused Vacation Time Now Totals $272 Billion in America

Photo: Grand Memories Cayo Santa Maria. (Photo courtesy of Sunwing Vacations)

In a new report from Project: Time Off entitled “The High Price of Silence: Analyzing the Business Implications of an Under-Vacationed Workforce,” the findings indicate American businesses have a staggering $272 billion tied up in accumulated vacation time.

When compared to the 2015 numbers, that’s a 21 percent increase.

The Project: Time Off study found that a “work martyrdom” environment has been allowed to thrive for years, and it starts at the very top with senior business leaders. While 93 percent of managers say they believe in the importance of time off, 59 percent of managers report having unused vacation time.

Members of senior management are even worse at stockpiling vacation days, with 67 percent of executive and senior leaders leaving time on the table in 2015.

READ MORE: The Work Martyrs of No-Vacation Nation

The problem is the disconnect. While 91 percent of managers believe they actively encourage their employees to take vacations, two-thirds of non-managers report hearing nothing, negative or mixed messages about taking time off.

Senior leaders fear the stress of returning to a massive workload more than other employees, with 55 percent airing grievances compared to 47 percent of all managers, 33 percent of non-managers and 26 percent of executives.

There is also a feeling of guilt about taking vacation days for some, as 25 percent of executive and senior leaders said guilt has stopped them from taking vacation time as compared to just 17 percent of non-managers.

With $272 billion in accumulated vacation time waiting to be used, it’s time for people to stop feeling guilt and start traveling again. For more information on the study, check out Project: Time Off’s official website.


You may use your Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook information, including your name, photo & any other personal data you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on Click here to learn more.