We’re all guilty of overworking, but how many of us are missing out on a work-life balance?

Although being focused on work can be a great thing, ensuring we take a vacation is important for our overall health, work performance, and minimizing work burnout.

In a recent study conducted by Celebrity Cruises, over 1,200 employees were surveyed, yet only 750 had paid time off, and some reported leaving six to 10 days unused last year.

Twenty percent of employees with PTO left at least six days unused last year, and nearly 1 in 10 reporting leaving at least 11 days unused. Overall, 47% of employees left paid vacation time unused, and 21% admitted they had been denied a vacation request last year.

Aside from unused time, the study looked at which industries offer the least amount of paid vacation days.


It turns out that the hotel, food services, and hospitality industry offered the least amount of paid vacation time (a median of 11 days). No wonder nearly 1 in 5 employees would prefer five extra paid vacation days to a 10% raise.

Some industries offered quite generous PTO packages, but employees felt compelled to work extra hours to make up for vacation time. Although the finance, technology, and medical industries all offered at least 14 days of PTO, employees in these industries were the most likely to work extra hours before vacation.

Overall, 62% of employees admitted working extra hours the week before vacation, with 50% of women reported being “more stressed” the week before vacation.

As burnout continues to be an issue in the workforce, vacations have become increasingly necessary. But it’s up to employees to take advantage of workplace benefits, while employers need to identify employee needs and understand when they may need some time off. 

I help people recover from and prevent burnout. Feel free to reach out to me about a way out of your burnout. I’m always happy to chat.


  • Michael Levitt

    Chief Burnout Officer

    Breakfast Leadership, Inc.

    Michael Levitt is the founder & Chief Burnout Officer of Breakfast Leadership, Inc,, a San Diego and Toronto-based burnout prevention firm. He is a Certified NLP and CBT Therapist, and is one of the world's leading authorities in burnout recovery and prevention.  He is also a Fortune 500 consultant, #1 bestselling author, and host of the Breakfast Leadership Show, a top 200 podcast on iTunes. He is a 2x Top 20 Global Thought Leader on Culture with Thinkers360. He is a former Healthcare executive, CIO, and CFO overseeing $ 2 Billion budgets, so he’s seen and done it all.
    His main keynotes are:
    1. Burnout Prevention: How To Avoid Your Own Year of Worst-Case Scenarios 2. Workplace Culture: Create A Workplace That People Will Beg To Work With 3. Working Remotely With Boundaries: How To Accomplish More At Home, Without Burning Out