The majority of Canadian workers believe they deserve more vacation time than they’re given — but for some industries, the problem is worse.
According to a survey released by travel site Expedia, two-thirds of Canadians who work in the food and beverage industry said they feel vacation deprived. The agriculture industry followed at 62 per cent, retail workers at 61 per cent, and the finance and legal industry at 47 per cent.
Beverly Beuermann-King, an Ontario-based wellness strategist, noted that the nature of some industries makes it more difficult to take time off.
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She explained that the food and beverage industry— which includes jobs such as waiters and baristas — often consists of part-time employment, and younger workers who are strapped for money.
The survey also noted that regionally, Quebecers felt most deprived of vacation time at 58 per cent, while British Columbians were the least in need of time off at 45 per cent. Overall, 67 per cent of Canadian employees felt they deserved more time off.
But globally, Canada ranked in 10th place — with workers in South Korea the worst off, and Norwegian workers the most satisfied with their vacation time.
Young workers feel most vacation-deprived
Younger Canadians were less likely to take vacation days from work; 64 per cent of respondents between 18-34 said they have experienced vacation deprivation. Older Canadians, aged 50 and over, were most likely to take time off, and only 40 per cent said they felt deprived of vacation time.
It’s common for younger Canadians to take less time off work, Beuermann-King noted.
“Being young in your career, we have the misconception that if we want to be dedicated, that means not taking time off.”
The expert added that young workers may also feel like they can’t afford a trip. But taking a vacation doesn’t mean travelling across the world and there are budget-friendly options.
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Truly taking time off work
Some of the problems with achieving a work-life balance arise when workers take a vacation but don’t actually take time off from working.
“Setting off your phone and not checking emails isn’t always realistic,” Beuermann-King said.
But it’s still important to set boundaries. For example, only check work-related messages once a day.
Taking the vacation time you need to rejuvenate can be difficult, but Beuermann-King urges Canadians to do it — even if it means having a tough conversation with management.
“It makes you feel happier when you return to work.”
This survey was conducted by Northstar Research Partners, on behalf of Expedia, and was completed by 1,002 employed Canadian adults between Sept. 4-15, 2017.