This survey shows how Americans really feel about vacation days

Most of us would rather be working

Poll results
This month’s 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll reveals Americans just might be addicted to working.

Does time off make Americans anxious?

We can confirm only this: whatever it is we happen to be doing, most of us would rather be working. Or so it seems.

Offered a choice between starting a new job with (a) $20,000 more in salary or (b) four weeks’ extra paid vacation, we’d take the cash. Similarly, we’d prefer to trade in our unused sick days for money rather than more time off. (Can the latter be characterized as a “cash-flu situation”? Sorry.)

And when Americans find themselves with a little spare time, we look to fill it with—that’s right—more work. (Exercise is a close second; chilling out or finding something to read are, apparently, for losers.)

We regard checking work e-mails while not actually at work as a “necessary part of the job”—particularly the 18-29 age group, two-thirds of whom don’t see it as an intrusion. Even when offered a serious temptation—become French citizens, just for the summer, and get that whole season off—did we nibble? Mais non. Only 29 percent of us would take that deal. Finally, in animal-kingdom terms, more than half of us identify with the worker bee, and only 4 percent with the sloth. In other words, we Americans think of ourselves as drones. (Duh.) But enough with these poll results! We’ve got work to do.

Which would you rather have from a new job? An extra $20K/year: Total: 66% <$100K: 68% $100K+: 59%
An extra 4 weeks of vacation: Total: 32% <$100K: 31% $100K+: 39%

What would you like to do with your leftover sick days? Get paid for them: Total: 63% <$100K: 66% $100K+: 53%
Get time off for them: Total: 23% <$100K: 23% $100K+: 26%
What leftover sick days? Total: 11% <$100K: 9% $100K+: 16%
Other than the US, how many other developed countries have no paid vacations? Just 34% realize that the United States is the only developed nation not to guarantee some amount of paid vacation time.
None: Total: 34% No Degree: 32% College Degree+: 40%
One: Total: 7% No Degree: 7% College Degree: 8%
Two: Total: 13% No Degree: 13% College Degree: 12%
Three: Total: 20% No Degree: 19% College Degree: 22%
Don’t know: Total: 27% No Degree: 30% College Degree: 18%

When you think about the French getting summers off, do you ... ?

Want to be French: Total: 6% Reps: 4% Dems: 8% Inds: 5%
Still want to be American: Total: 63% Reps: 71% Dems: 55% Inds: 64%
Want to be French for the summer: Total: 29% Reps: 23% Dems: 36% Inds: 27%

What do you do when you have spare time?

Look for work to do: Total: 32% Men: 39% Women: 21%
Get some exercise: Total: 30% Men: 29% Women: 30%
Find something to read: Total: 20% Men: 14% Women: 27%
Chill out and do nothing: Total: 18% Men: 15% Women: 21%

Which type of "time off" do you wish you could have had more of?

Vacations without the kids: Total: 26% Men: 30% Women: 22%
Maternity/paternity leave: Total: 23% Men: 14% Women: 32%
Time between school and career: Total: 17% Men: 19% Women: 16%
Your honeymoon: Total: 16% Men: 17% Women: 16%
Partying during Spring Break: Total: 8% Men: 11% Women: 6%

Which first lady said, "Presidents don't get vacations"?

Just 14% of Americans know that this phrase was first uttered by Mrs. Reagan; the rest either pick someone else or say they don’t know.

Nancy Reagan: Total: 14% Reps: 13% Dems: 16% Inds: 13%
Michelle Obama: Total: 14% Reps: 15% Dems: 15% Inds: 13%
Laura Bush: Total: 13% Reps: 19% Dems: 8% Inds: 13%
Hillary Clinton: Total: 13% Reps: 13% Dems: 17% Inds: 11%
Jacqueline Kennedy: Total: 9% Reps: 6% Dems: 14% Inds: 7%
Don’t know: Total: 36% Reps: 35% Dems: 30% Inds: 42%

Which animal is most like you?

A worker bee: Total: 52% Men: 52% Women: 51%
A butterfly: Total: 26% Men: 14% Women: 38%
A shark: Total: 15% Men: 23% Women: 7%
A sloth: Total: 4% Men: 5% Women: 2%

Who has a healthier work/life balance? Working men with children: Total: 37% Men: 39% Women: 34%
Working women with children: Total: 51% Men: 44% Women: 57%

Checking work e-mails while not at work...

Necessary part of the job: Total: 55% 18-29: 68% 30+: 52%
Beyond the call of duty: Total: 38% 18-29: 27% 30+: 41%

Is jury duty "time off"?

Yes: Total: 16% <$25K: 21% $25K-$50K: 17% $50K-$100K: 14% $100K+: 10%
No: Total: 81 % <$25K: 73% $25K-$50K: 81% $50K-$100K: 83% $100K+: 86%


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