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December 08, 2015

Deloitte survey: One-third of workers uncomfortable taking time off

Less than half say their employer values life outside work

A new workplace survey shows about 33 percent of American workers do not feel comfortable taking personal time off or vacation days, one of several findings a Deloitte official says should "serve as a wake-up call" to businesses.

Deloitte's Workplace Pulse survey also found 32 percent of respondents — adult employees spanning generations — consistently placed work commitments over family or personal commitments. Only 48 percent said their employer values their life outside work.

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"Organizations are investing in more and more benefits and perks associated with well-being, like flexible work options and unlimited vacation days, aimed at winning the war for talent," Deloitte Chief Talent Officer Mike Preston said in a statement. "But our survey shows businesses can do more to create a culture of well-being, which goes beyond offering generous programs and focuses on everyday behaviors."

How might those employee attitudes shift?

Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they would feel more comfortable prioritizing personal commitments if they saw their direct managers doing likewise. These results were more amplified among millennials.

Only 16 percent said their chief executive officer is very transparent on a professional level. Ten percent said their CEO is very transparent on a personal level. Nearly half — 44 percent — said hearing their CEO's experience managing well-being would have a positive impact on their own feelings about their workplace.

Deloitte hired KRC Research to conduct an online poll of 1,016 full-time employees across generations from Oct. 6-12.