We received 1,046 responses to last week’s ATL / Lateral Link survey on vacation time.
Roughly two thirds of respondents reported that their firms offered four weeks of vacation, but sixteen percent are at three-week firms, six percent are at firms with only two weeks of vacation, and a handful are at firms with but a single week. Five percent of respondents are at firms that do not offer vacation time at all, while six percent are at firms that offer more than four weeks.
Among the firms offering four weeks of paid vacation, about a quarter of respondents took at least 20 vacation days, with another twelve percent of respondents taking 16 to 19 vacation days. Another quarter of respondents took between 11 and 15 vacation days. Almost a fifth of respondents, however, took fewer than five vacation days.
At firms offering three weeks of paid vacation, almost a quarter of respondents took at least 15 vacation days, with another seventeen percent of respondents taking 11 to 15 vacation days. Thirty-six percent of respondents, however, took only 6 to 10 vacation days, and thirty-five percent took one week or less.
Roughly two fifths of respondents who didn’t take all their vacations explained that they simply had too much work to get done. Another quarter, however, felt they needed the hours, and about the same number felt uncomfortable taking vacations. Five percent of respondents skipped vacations because they wanted to impress people, and roughly the same number were actually instructed by a partner to stay at the office. Twenty-two percent of respondents actually cancelled vacations last year.
Of course, not every vacation was really a vacation. Roughly 63% of respondents said they did work while on vacation last year.
Will there be better luck this year? Maybe not. Only 37% of respondents said their firms allowed them to roll over unused vacation days. Fifty-one percent were at use-it-or-lose-it firms, and the rest were unsure.


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