GET OUT OF TOWN 10-1-1998

Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts October 1998 Current Issue
October 1998
Short Cuts:

Given the choice, most executives (70 percent) would turn down a 10 percent raise if it meant giving up a week of vacation time. Why? The majority say annual vacations are "essential" to keeping their job performance up and maintaining a positive state of mind in both their personal (68 percent) and professional (63 percent) lives.

These are among the results of a recent survey of 622 executives commissioned by Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and conducted by Roper Starch Worldwide Inc. Ironically, while executives place such a high premium on time off, half don't take all of their allotted vacation days in a typical year. And 48 percent say no one thanks them for the sacrifice. (Afraid work will grind to a halt while you're away? This month's Back to Basics column, "Go Ahead, Take a Vacation," on page 38, tells how to prepare your office for your absence.)

Among other interesting survey findings:

  • While on vacation, 75 percent of those surveyed call the office, 71 percent check phone messages, 60 percent receive calls or e-mail, and 54 percent have spent time doing office work.
  • Even more depressing: 28 percent have had to cancel vacations and 14 percent have cut them short due to work matters.
  • Not surprisingly, 22 percent say working while on vacation leads to fights with their spouse or significant other. Yet most (70 percent) say vacation helps them rekindle romance. More than half have more sex on vacation than at home.
  • Nearly half say it takes just one day of vacation to get work off their minds; by day three, 81 percent are in full vacation mode.
  • How long does the vacation karma last? Forty-two percent say the good vibes fade in less than five days.
  • Why go back? While away, more than half of executives surveyed dream of escaping the rat race for good.

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