Vacations Even Sweeter Post-Covid Lockdowns, According to Korn Ferry Survey

Professionals Taking More Vacation Days, Checking in Less with the Office

LOS ANGELES, July 2, 2021 – As the summer vacation season kicks into high gear, a new Korn Ferry (NYSE: KFY) survey shows professionals are more ready than ever to take time off.

The vast majority (82 percent) say they will appreciate their vacation more post-pandemic lockdowns than in years past. More than three-quarters (79 percent) say they will use more vacation days in 2021, and nearly half (46 percent) say they’ll take a longer vacation this year.

“These past 18 months have been among the most stressful periods in recent history. We all feel the need to take a break and recharge,” said Kevin Cashman, Korn Ferry global co-leader of CEO and Enterprise Leader Development, and author of The Pause Principle – Step Back to Lean Forward. “Employees who pause during vacations return with a renewed sense of energy and purpose, which enhances their productivity and drive.”

Time away from work can actually have a positive impact on professionals’ jobs, as 80 percent say they have had a breakthrough work idea come to them while relaxing on vacation.

While 82 percent say they will check in with the office less during this year’s vacation, that doesn’t mean they will unplug completely. Nearly a fifth (19 percent) say they will check in multiple times a day and 42 percent say they’ll check in once a day. Only 13 percent say they will never check in.

“To truly experience the benefits of time away, it’s critical to focus on friends, family, relaxation and rejuvenation. Take the time to re-connect with others instead of continually connecting to work,” said Cashman.

One third (33 percent) of those who check in with the office say they do so because there is too much work to get done. Nearly half (44 percent) say they get pulled into critical issues and need to put out fires, and 19 percent say they work on holiday because they just enjoy it.

More than half (56 percent) say they have cancelled or cut short vacation plans due to work pressures, and 42 percent say they have had disagreements with their spouse/significant other about being too connected to work during vacation.

“Taking the time to transform all aspects of our lives is critical to sustained happiness and well-being,” said Cashman.

About the Survey

The Korn Ferry survey of 620 professionals took place in June 2021.

Survey Results

Will you appreciate your vacation more post pandemic than in years past?

Yes                                                                                          82 percent

No                                                                                           18 percent

Have you ever had a work breakthrough idea that has come to you while relaxing on vacation?

Yes                                                                                          80 percent

No                                                                                           20 percent

Post-pandemic, do you think you’ll check in with work more or less during vacation than in years past?

More                                                                                        18 percent

Less                                                                                         82 percent

While on vacation, how often do you connect to work?

Multiple times a day                                                                19 percent                              

Once a day                                                                             42 percent                  

A few times per week                                                             21 percent                  

Once a week                                                                             5 percent                                

Never                                                                                      13 percent

Would you rather have a salary increase or more vacation days?

Salary increase                                                                       61 percent

More vacation days                                                                39 percent

Have you ever had a disagreement with your spouse/significant other about being too connected to work while on vacation?

Yes                                                                                          42 percent                              

No                                                                                           58 percent                                                                  

If you work while on vacation what is the primary reason for doing so?

Too much work to do/Increased workload upon return          33 percent

Putting out Fires: I get pulled into critical issues                    44 percent

Worried my boss will think I’m a slacker if I don’t                     5 percent

I enjoy it                                                                                   18 percent

Have you cancelled/delayed/cut short personal vacation plans due to occupational demands/pressure to perform at work?

Yes                                                                                          56 percent                                          

No                                                                                           44 percent

Do you plan to use more or fewer vacation days in 2021 than in years past?

More                                                                                        79 percent

Fewer                                                                                      21 percent

Do you plan on taking a longer vacation this year than in years past?

Yes                                                                                          46 percent                              

No                                                                                           54 percent

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We work with our clients to design optimal organization structures, roles, and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people and advise them on how to reward and motivate their workforce while developing professionals as they navigate and advance their careers.

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