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Published on : Monday, November 18, 2013
A new Hilton Hotels & Resorts study reveals that 4.5 million people are losing more than six days of annual leave each year, due to reasons including being worried about losing their job or looking bad in front of their boss. One in 20 even admitted they take just half of the time off they are entitled to, saying that using every day of their annual leave is frowned upon in their workplace. These results show that Britain’s workforce is suffering from Vacationitis – a condition coined earlier this year by Hilton and affecting those who fail to take enough time off from work. Hilton is encouraging employees to check their annual leave balance during “International Use it or Lose it Week”, November 18 – 22, to combat this global epidemic.
The survey of 2,000 professionals, conducted by OnePoll in November 2013, found that, while the average Brit is entitled to 23 days of leave each year, 40 per cent rarely, or never, use their full allocation. Additional reasons for this lack of annual leave use include running out of time to use it, worrying about judgement from colleagues, juggling busy workloads and difficulties fitting around other workers’ holidays. Fears about showing lack of commitment to the job, being made redundant or colleagues taking credit for their work were also cited as explanations for not taking leave.
Three in 10 surveyed admitted to spending a large chunk of their holiday worrying about their job and what their co-workers were saying about them, while 25 per cent have even called into the office whilst on annual leave to check for updates and ensure that everything is well in the workplace.
Behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings says, “With a lot of businesses stretched to capacity, it’s worrying to see that many individuals are not taking all of the time off to which they’re entitled. Britain’s workforce should be encouraged to take regular time out to recharge their batteries. Taking a break from work and enjoying a holiday helps workers both mentally and physically, which really improves their productivity when they go back to work.
“Holidays are absolutely essential to our emotional well being, providing time away from everyday pressures and deadlines. Quality time spent with friends and family, rest and relaxation and a change of environment all contribute to positive health and happiness. Even if employees only take a few days off at a time, having that break from the office can really make a difference.”
To encourage Britain’s workforce to utilise their annual leave to maximum effect, Hilton is inviting stressed employees to visit the Hilton Urgent Vacation Care Centre: www.vacationcarecentre.hilton.com. Visitors can take a diagnostic quiz to test their need for a vacation and receive a personal prescription; compare Vacationitis levels by country; download and share humorous “out of office” messages and the 14 symptoms of Vacationitis including “Yellow Post-It Fever”; explore leisure travel offers and news and more. Upon completing the quiz, visitors will also be entered into a sweepstakes where 15 winners will receive two complimentary nights at any Hilton Hotels & Resorts property in the world.
According to the survey, the top 10 reasons for not using one’s full annual leave allocation are:
To help raise awareness of Vacationitis and bring to light the newfound statistics, Hilton Hotels & Resorts ambassadors will be positioned at five train stations across London – Kings Cross, Victoria, Liverpool Street, Waterloo and Watford Junction – gifting branded Oyster card holders and encouraging workers to visit the Hilton Urgent Vacation Care Center website to take the quiz to be entered for a chance to win a two-night stay at any Hilton Hotels & Resorts property.
Travellers can make the most of their Hilton Hotels & Resorts break with the Leisure Escapes package. Guests booking the Leisure Escapes package at participating resorts will receive a $50 daily on-property credit that they may use to play golf, enjoy lunch by the pool, unwind at the spa and more.
Social media users may engage with Hilton at www.facebook.com/hilton and follow the conversation at #Vacationitis on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest at @hiltonhotels. Fans are also encouraged to share photos depicting “I’d rather be there, than here” – contrasting images from their daily lives, such as their office, with places they might rather be, like a beautiful beach in the Caribbean.