Number of the day: Saving PTO until post-pandemic

Most workers are not taking time off, which is problematic as burnout and stress soar.
By: | April 9, 2021 • 2 min read

71: Percentage of employees who say they are waiting to take time off from work until the country begins to fully reopen.

Seven in 10 workers are saving their paid time off for travel once the country begins to reopen, according to a new poll of 2,504 workers from Monster.

What it means to HR leaders

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Monster’s survey data is the latest to find that employees are largely not taking time off during the pandemic—which is especially problematic because burnout and stress are soaring among employees as they work long hours and have their home and work lives blurred during COVID-19.

Data from Limeade found that employee burnout has risen 30% during the pandemic. When the software company surveyed employees just months before the pandemic began, they found that 42% of workers were burned out. When they asked employees about burnout again a few months into COVID-19, that number had shot up to 72%.

Related: To learn more about how to combat employee burnout, register for HRE’s (free and virtual) Health & Benefits Leadership Conference here.

According to Claire Barnes, head of human capital at Monster, although it’s not surprising to see workers holding off on traveling and taking PTO as a precaution for the health and safety of their families, it is “a bit discouraging that people are not taking time for self-care and are experiencing signs of burnout.”

Some companies have taken matters into their own hands by implementing mental health days to encourage workers to take time off. LinkedIn, for instance, gave its workers a week off to combat burnout. Others are consistently encouraging employees to use take time off and recharge as needed. Barnes says Monster, for instance, frequently reminds workers to take time off, allows flexible schedules to help employees balance their work and personal life, and offers paid self-care days.

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Related: Burnout is soaring during COVID-19: How can employers help?

“Self-care and taking time out even for staycations is crucial to wellbeing,” Barnes says. “[Being proactive about employee wellbeing] is a top priority as we transition to the new normal.”

Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver. She can be reached at kmayer@lrp.com.

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