The economy must be improving: Employees are taking vacation time again.
You’ll remember last year at this time, when many workers said they’d shorten — or forego altogether — their annual two weeks of summer R&R because they were nervous about keeping their jobs.
They’re somewhat less nervous this year, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder.com. Some of the key stats gathered from 4,800 workers in companies across the country:
- 36% say they feel more comfortable taking time off this year than last, due to improving business conditions
- 56% say they need a vacation “more than they have in years”
- 23% say they plan to be away from the workplace for a week, and
- 12% say they’ll be gone two weeks or longer.
Not all workers are feeling the vacation love, of course. CareerBuilder says nearly one-third of employees won’t be taking a vacation again this year. And 21% say they just can’t afford it.
More staffing snarls this year
While this is no doubt good news on the morale front — and many experts maintain that employers who get some time away from work are more productive when they return — the trend could add a burden on managers they didn’t have last summer.
Staffing issues could get tricky, especially given the lean payrolls most companies carry today. A couple of tips to help managers prepare:
- assemble the vacation schedule as early as possible — that’ll help spread out the absences and make it easier to get crucial duties covered, and
- cross-train employees so they’ll be able to smoothly transition into covering the tasks of their missing cohorts.
Finally, you can always ask workers to check in periodically when they’re gone — the poll says 49% of employers are asking their employees to do just that.