Happiness More Important Than $5,000 Raise

Employees’ ongoing struggle to balance work with time off is significantly impacted by their boss, according to an Employee Engagement Study by Randstad U.S. The survey of 2,279 employed adults found 39% of U.S. employees don’t believe their bosses encourage them to take allotted vacation days, and 45% say their bosses don’t help them disconnect from work while on vacation. With nearly half of employees (41%) believing work-life balance is impossible to achieve, Randstad’s study found the relationship between employees and employers is a vital factor that influences both vacation etiquette and overall workplace happiness. Employers that proactively maintain positive relationships with employees and encourage them to utilize allotted vacation time are more likely to boost company morale, reduce turnover, and increase productivity, all of which can positively impact a company’s bottom line.

Twenty-eight percent of respondents say they would rather have a better boss than a $5,000 raise. Happiness is so important that 36% of employees would give up $5,000 a year in salary to be happier at work.

The Employee Engagement Study also uncovered:

  • Vacations can be stressful: Nearly half of employees (49%) feel stressed after they return from vacation. In fact, 46 percent say they worry about work while on vacation.
  • Hold the vacation: More than 1 in 3 employees (38%) believe taking fewer vacations makes them look better in the eyes of their boss.
  • Change of plans: More than 1 in 3 employees (36%) have had to cancel vacation plans due to work.
  • Money does not (always) buy happiness: More than 1 in 4 employees (28%) would rather have a better boss than a $5,000 raise. Happiness is so important that more than 1 in 3 employees (36%) would give up $5,000 a year in salary to be happier at work.

“It’s essential employees feel empowered to take a break from their jobs, and managers should take note of these study findings to determine whether their company’s culture truly supports and allows the opportunity for this,” said Jim Link, Chief HR Officer, Randstad North America. “There is no doubt taking time off to unwind is healthy and ultimately better for the organization.

“Vacations make for more productive and engaged workers, and yet 42 percent of employees don’t believe their employers help them achieve work-life balance and 39 percent don’t feel their managers encourage them to utilize vacation time—therefore, bosses who proactively encourage workers to unplug, unwind and truly leave work behind to enjoy time off will be looked upon as workplace heroes.”

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PR Newswire (08/12/15)