by Jonathan Vatner | February 01, 2006

When it comes to meeting planners' work/life balance, the scales are tipped toward the "work" side, reveals a recent survey by M&C Research. 
    One quarter of the 213 planners surveyed work between 50 and 59 hours per week, and 9 percent work more than 60 hours. A large number (42 percent) are on the job weekends either "often" or "almost always." And fully 59 percent say they don't take all of their allotted vacation time. 
    At the same time, more than half of respondents (54 percent) claim they deserve more vacation time than they get. How much time off are they allowed? About one-fifth receive four weeks of paid vacation, and 14 percent get even more than that. Only 5 percent struggle through the year with one week, and 23 percent get by with two. Three weeks is the most common, cited by 35 percent of respondents.
    If those surveyed had an extra week of vacation time, they would spend it traveling for pleasure (35 percent), at home catching up on chores (32 percent), at home relaxing (16 percent) or visiting family (7 percent). A small fraction of respondents (5 percent) just could not imagine taking an extra week of vacation. Among their comments: "I rarely take all my vacation time," and "Wouldn't be able to take it too busy!"
    Fortunately, meeting planners' work environments are flexible enough to let them have a life beyond the office walls. All but 2 percent of those surveyed claim their work allows them to be "somewhat flexible" or "very flexible" when juggling personal obligations.
    Interestingly, 70 percent of survey respondents don't consider themselves workaholics, regardless of any evidence to the contrary. The remaining 30 percent of planners polled have no such pretension.