American Workers Struggle To Fully Enjoy Their Time Out Of The Office

And Those Who Compromise Their Time Off Are Particularly Judgmental of Co-Worker's Work Habits

Apr 16, 2014, 09:00 ET from Adecco Staffing US

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- One-quarter of all American workers are unable to take all of their paid time off during the year, according to a survey by Adecco Staffing US. The survey found that 37 percent of those who take vacation have had to work or stay connected during that time – 89 percent have checked email while 70 percent have made work-related calls and 25 percent have actually shown up for in-person meetings during vacation. Even more frustrating is the 22 percent that have had to actually cut a vacation short because of work-related duties.

Perhaps not so surprising, those who have given up vacation time because of work related duties tend to judge their colleagues' work habits more than others. According to the survey, 37 percent of those who have worked during vacation said they judge their colleagues for coming in late or for leaving early, compared to only 21 percent of those who have not had to give up personal time for work or connect while out of the office.

"We live in such a fast-paced, technology-driven world that it can be very difficult to completely unplug, even when we're out of the office on personal time," said Sherry Dixon, a senior vice president with  Adecco. "The pressures and responsibilities of the job tend to follow us wherever we go, but it's important to have balance so that you can enjoy the time you have. One way to do this is by establishing boundaries at work and appropriately planning staffing needs when one is going to be out of the office."

Although working Americans say they're not able to fully disconnect when they're out of the office, it seems they are finding other ways to claim back their time. In fact, two in 10 (22 percent) of working Americans admit to planning to either come to work late or leave early when they know their boss is going to be out of office.

Other findings include:

Working Americans stay focused on the basics –making more money and having a greater work/life balance. According to the survey, 53 percent of American workers said they hope they get a raise this year, followed by 45 percent who would like a better balance between work and personal life. Other goals include getting promoted (26 percent), getting a new job (23 percent), networking more effectively (22 percent), and improving their relationship with their boss (15 percent).

Millennials have ambitious career plans for the year ahead when compared to other generations. According to the survey, Millennial workers are much more likely to want a promotion (43 percent compared to 30 percent of Gen X and 17 percent of Boomers) and raise than other generations (67 percent compared to 58 percent of Gen X and 44 percent of Boomers respectively).

American workers feel a lack of senior roles in their current company is the biggest obstacle for career growth. According to the survey, 27 percent of American workers do not believe there is upward mobility within their company. Other obstacles to achieving their career goals include a lack of motivation/being disengaged with their current job (15 percent) followed by a lack of support from their manager (13 percent), lack of company sponsored training (13 percent), and limited personal qualifications (9 percent).

Colleagues who complain about work don't get any sympathy from their coworkers. Working Americans are most commonly (37 percent) annoyed by colleagues who complain about their work. This topped other habits such as leaving common spaces messy (30 percent), talking excessively loud (26 percent), and coming into work sick (21 percent).

"With so many different personalities and generations melded together in the workplace, it's no surprise that American workers may get annoyed with their coworkers from time to time," said Dixon. "But it's important not to judge those we work with and instead find ways to work together and support the needs of the job. This will create a healthier working environment, as well as provide a greater level of support across the board." 

Adecco conducted a survey of 507 working adults within the United States. This telephone survey was fielded by Braun Research from February 8-12, 2014 and the results have a margin of error +/- 4.35% for this sample size.

About Adecco Staffing US
Adecco Staffing US is the nation's leading provider of recruitment and workforce solutions. It is the pre-eminent workforce management partner for Fortune 500 companies and career advisement expert for American workers, serving all of the key industries and professions that drive the US economy forward. Adecco has more than 900 career centers and, on any given day, connects 70,000 talented workers to the best job opportunities across the country, making them one of America's largest employers. Visit for more information.

About Adecco Group North America:
Every day we provide our clients with the talent they need, and help solve the business challenges they face today – and will encounter tomorrow. Our clients rely on us for a wide range of workforce solutions including:

  • Contingent staffing and direct hire recruitment for large enterprise organizations across all skill sets
  • Workforce solutions and consulting including Managed Services Programs (MSP) & Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)
  • Career transition and leadership consulting
  • Specialty staffing, project solutions and consulting services

Additional information is available through our websites at and

SOURCE Adecco Staffing US