Reuters picked up our survey and asked some follow on questions about why we thought the results had changed the way they have in five years. I think the differences may have something to do with the general decline in employee engagement we've seen in the last five years, but I don't think that's the major driver. Most people who are fully employed now are probably a little more focused on staying in their employers' good graces and hanging onto the jobs they have. This might be a reason we see more people saying they'll take the 24th and/or the 31st, but not the entire week. And people taking time off in 2012 may feel more entitled to that paid time off in a climate where merit increases and bonuses have decreased alongside their flagging enthusiasm for their jobs.
Reuters also asked if people are happy to be taking more time off at the holidays. I suspect that depends on people's individual circumstances. For some people, this period is less busy at work, and so the “catch up” consequences of taking time off are lighter. People want to be home when kids are home from school or college, or they're looking forward to spending time with extended family and friends. If they have accrued paid time off, and especially if they have to “use it or lose it” by the end of the year, then they are probably motivated to take that time off.
We also saw an uptick in people saying their employer was shutting down in the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. If during these shutdowns employees are still paid, then they're probably appreciating the time off. If these shutdowns entail people losing pay when they would otherwise have been available to work, they may not be happy about it.
What's happening in your workplace? Are you taking time off? Happy about it?
BTW- the picture above is the empty office of my blogging nemesis, Working Smarter Cafe. Maybe he'll take a few days off next week so I can catch up...
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