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More than one-third of government workforce not taking vacation, new Eagle Hill Consulting research finds

Arlington, Va., September 1, 2022 – Thirty-six percent of government employees say they haven’t taken a vacation in the past 12 months, with younger and lower income government employees more likely to skip time off. A large share (45 percent) of these public workers say the biggest impediment to taking an unplugged vacation is the expense of taking time off, new Eagle Hill Consulting research finds.

The findings are based upon a workforce survey from Eagle Hill Consulting conducted by Ipsos from August 11-16, 2022. The 2022 Eagle Hill Consulting Workforce Burnout Survey included 1,000 respondents from a random sample of employees across the U.S., including federal, state, and local government employees. The survey polled respondents about issues related to burnout and vacation.

“The past several years have been a pressure cooker for many public sector workers, and burnout remains high across the government workforce,” said Melissa Jezior, president and chief executive officer of Eagle Hill Consulting. “It’s more important than ever to ensure public workers are taking time off to rest and recharge.”

“Public sector employers also are seeing unprecedented challenges keeping their workers on the job amid a tight labor market and competition from private sector employers. Government leaders are wise to foster a workplace culture that encourages public workers to take time off and fully unplug to help alleviate the dual problems of burnout and retention,” Jezior explained.     

The survey also finds:

  • More than one-third (36 percent) of government workers have not taken a vacation during the past 12 months, highest among young workers (45 percent) and lower income employees (51 percent). 
  • Many public employees are not fully unplugging during time off. While 55 percent say they fully disconnect from work during vacation, 31 percent say they check work emails and messages. Seven percent say they continue to work during vacation. 
  • Public sector workers say the impediments to taking a fully unplugged vacation include the expense of taking a vacation (44 percent), self-imposed pressure to stay on top of work (34 percent), a heavy workload (32 percent), and no colleagues available to cover their workload (27 percent). 

Eagle Hill Consulting LLC is a woman-owned business that provides unconventional management consulting services in the areas of Strategy & Performance, Talent, and Change. The company’s expertise in delivering innovative solutions to unique challenges spans across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. A leading authority on employee sentiment, Eagle Hill is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, with employees across the U.S. and offices in Boston and Seattle. More information is available at www.eaglehillconsulting.com.

Media Contact:  Susan Nealon | 703.229.8600 | snealon@eaglehillconsulting.com | @WeAreEagleHill