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Summer is around the corner, but many professionals plan to keep their nose to the grindstone, new research from global staffing firm Robert Half shows. According to a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. office workers:

  • 28% anticipate taking fewer days off in the summer months compared to last year, because of COVID-19; 16% are taking more time off.
  • 37% will save their vacation time for later in the year, hopefully to travel.
  • 14% won’t be logging off because they have too much work to do.
  • 22% would like to take a vacation but are tightening their belts due to the pandemic.
  • 20% will take days off for self-care and mental health.

View an infographic of the research highlights.

Professionals May Need a Nudge to Unplug
While one-quarter of workers (25%) reported their employer or manager has encouraged them to take time off since the pandemic began, 66% said there has been no communication about using vacation days. Further, 9% revealed they’ve been discouraged from taking time off from work.

“Teams are running lean, and employees have more on their plates,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half. “Staff may feel inclined to save vacation time for when their workloads lighten and they can travel with greater ease. But now more than ever, it’s crucial to carve out time to rest, reset and recharge.”

McDonald added, “Many professionals are grappling with heightened career, financial and health concerns brought on by the pandemic. Managers should encourage employees to fully disconnect from work to focus on themselves and family and avoid burnout. This may require employers to be more flexible with deadlines or bring in extra support to cover for staff who are taking time off.”

About the Research
The online survey was developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm from May 14-19, 2020. It includes responses from more than 1,000 workers 18 years of age or older and normally employed in office environments in the United States.

About Robert Half
Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. The company has more than 300 staffing locations worldwide and offers hiring and job search services at For additional management and career advice, visit the Robert Half blog at