Time off over money for some US workers

Nearly half of US workers would prefer more vacation time over a pay rise.

According to a new study commissioned by recruiting firm Spherion Staffing, 41% of US workers would appreciate more paid vacation time over a pay rise, if given a choice.

In the US, employees typically only get 10 annual leave days per year. The survey indicates that while 70% of employees consider such paid leave to be a right of employment, only 58% of employers agreed.

Additionally, 3 out of 10 employees said they feel guilty requesting paid vacation time. A similar number (28%) indicated that their employers expect them to work while on holiday – a figure that bore out in the survey, with 22% of companies saying they agreed with the practice.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a vast majority (88%) of workers said that a company’s work-life balance package – such as allowances for flexible work – heavily influenced their decision to take on a new job.

The study was conducted online earlier this year, and collated feedback from almost 750 human resource managers and a little more than 2,000 employed adults across the US.

"As businesses face greater pressure than ever to retain top workers, job satisfaction factors that employers previously may have overlooked, such as vacation time, play a greater role in shaping where employees decide to work," said Sandy Mazur, Spherion Division President.

"For companies that cannot afford to offer substantial raises at the moment, extra vacation time – or flexibility that allows workers to take time away without feeling connected to their job – can elevate morale, increase retention and build positive perception of their workplace."

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