Vacation No Cure for Work-Stress Blues

58 Percent of Workers Experience No Stress Relief from Vacations According to Recent Fierce, Inc. Survey

SEATTLE--()--Vacations are no longer a cure for the stresses of today’s hectic work life, according to a recently released survey conducted by Fierce, Inc., leadership development and training experts. More than 58 percent of respondents to a survey on issues related to Paid Time Off (PTO) indicated that they receive no stress relief from vacations. Only 8.9 percent of respondents achieve a state of complete relaxation while on vacation. The survey consists of responses from more than 1,000 executives and employees in multiple fields, including finance, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, education, and defense.

The word “vacation” originates from the Latin “vacatio,” meaning freedom from occupation. Nothing could be further from the truth in today’s working environment, according to respondents to the Fierce survey. Vacations fail to deliver stress-relieving benefits, revealed in the following data:

  • 27.3 percent of employees feel more stressed after vacations.
  • 41.6 percent of workers check in with the office at least every other day.
  • 6.5 percent check in multiple times per day while on vacation.
  • Only 25.8 percent don’t check in even once.

“For any company or organization to achieve success in today’s marketplace, it’s critical to develop techniques, such as delegation practices, that allow employees to take stress-relieving, battery-recharging vacations,” said Halley Bock, CEO of Fierce, Inc. “At Fierce, we’re putting our delegation skills and conversation techniques into practice with a new unlimited vacation policy, enabling our staff to disconnect from the office whenever they need to, while still keeping the business running smoothly.”

Delegation can be a powerful tool, and a balm for stressful vacations. Empowering teams to shoulder new responsibilities, grow in their roles, and make decisions improves organizations and directly benefits the vacationer. Investing time and energy into delegating appropriate tasks to colleagues, and setting clear parameters for decision-making responsibilities, makes organizations more efficient and effective.

Vacation policies are overwhelmingly important to workers across all ages and industries – 84 percent of employees consider PTO “very important” to their overall happiness. PTO policies are not just a personal matter, but critical to an organization’s overall health – 84.4 percent of workers consider PTO “very important” to the wellbeing and morale of their companies. Interestingly, respondents also believe that their employers recognize that vacation time is important to employees and organizations – 88.8 percent of employees believe their employers consider PTO to be “important” to the overall morale and wellbeing of their companies.

Given that PTO policies are so important to today’s workforce, it’s surprising how few conversations take place between employees and employers regarding vacation time. In addition to discussions on how to effectively disconnect from the office while taking PTO, conversations regarding the amount of PTO given to employees may also be necessary. 80 percent of survey respondents desire more than 20 days of PTO per year, yet 46.7 percent currently receive 20 days or less. Despite this chasm between employee wants and organization policies, 83.4 percent of respondents have never discussed vacation policies with their employers.

About Fierce

Fierce, Inc. is an award-winning leadership development and training company that drives results for business and education by improving workplace communication. Fierce creates authentic, energizing, and rewarding connections with colleagues and customers through skillful conversations that lead to successful outcomes and measurable ROI. Tailored to any organization, Fierce principles and methods translate across the globe, ensure individual and collective success, and develop skills that are practical, easy-to-learn, and can be applied immediately. Fierce’s programs have been successfully implemented at blue-chip companies, non-profits, and educational organizations worldwide, including Ernst & Young, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, CARE, and Crate & Barrel. Fierce has received numerous industry and business accolades. The company has twice been honored as an Inc. 500|5000 company, in 2011 was named to’s “Companies to Watch” list, and in 2011 and 2012 selected to Seattle Business magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” in Washington lists.


For Fierce, Inc.
Ray Vincenzo, 206-290-4431

Release Summary

Vacations are no longer a cure for stresses of today’s hectic work life, according to new survey of 1,000 respondents conducted by Fierce, Inc., leadership development and training experts.


For Fierce, Inc.
Ray Vincenzo, 206-290-4431