It takes Americans four days of vacation before they stop thinking about work, according to new research.
A study examining the ways in which people switch off from work and embrace time off found it takes the typical employee a full four days to shake off the stresses of work.
That means Americans spend just 43 percent of a seven-day vacation, or three full days, feeling completely relaxed without nagging worries over work and responsibilities back home.
A study conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Apple Vacations
explored the vacationing habits of 2,000 Americans and found 79 percent struggle to get away for a proper vacation and end up not using the entirety of their vacation allowance.
As many as 37 percent of Americans end up feeling guilty leaving unfinished work at the office - this was voted the leading reason to avoid taking vacation days.
Another 26 percent worry that taking vacation days will prevent them from getting a promotion.
This dedication to the workplace leaves 15 percent of Americans guilty and stressed even when they do get the chance to plan a vacation for themselves.
And it turns out that it’s millennials who feel guiltier taking advantage of the vacation days allocated to them- with 47 percent of millennials feeling this way compared to just 19 percent of those 55 and older
“Fully disconnecting while on vacation has become more difficult with the prevalence of full-coverage Wi-Fi at many of our top-rated resorts. For some, checking in periodically to ensure things are running smoothly in their absence may actually aid in relaxation.
"However, there’s a fine line between staying connected and refusing to allow the carefree tranquility of an all-inclusive vacation put one at peace,” said Sandy Babin, Vice President of Marketing, Apple Vacations
While on vacation, Americans can’t seem to stay away from the office. Nearly half (48 percent) check in to work while attempting to relax.
In fact, 43 percent find it difficult to completely shut-off from being in contact with the office while lounging around on what is supposed to be their time to get away- with 15 percent finding this very difficult to do.
And it turns out that Americans check their work emails just as often as they do social media- even while on vacation. The average American will check their work emails, Facebook, and Instagram nine times a day as they soak up the sun.
But it’s no wonder that Americans are so worried about being disconnected from their employer. 73 percent have had their boss contact them while they’ve been on vacation.
Worryingly, 18 percent have had their employer contact them every time they’ve left the office to enjoy a vacation.
Getting some respite from the office isn’t something that Americans really get. One in five has given up on the idea of using all their vacation days.
But why are Americans unable to take all their vacation days? Having too much work was the top reason with half of respondents feeling like their work had to take priority over taking a relaxing getaway.
Other reasons Americans are leaving vacations days behind include lack of funds to travel, wanting to save days for the following year, and using vacation days for things other than a vacation like a doctor’s appointment or going to the DMV.
“The need for rejuvenation is one of the primary reasons we travel. Thoughts of the office, or guilt stemming from work left unfinished, may make it difficult for vacationers to fully relax, whereas those who are able to completely shut off tend to come back fully refreshed and all the better for it.” added Sandy Babin, Vice President of Marketing, Apple Vacations.