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Why vacations are new work headache

world Updated: May 23, 2009 23:06 IST

One sign of the tough economic times is that the very thought of taking a vacation has become stressful, according to a recent survey.

Though most employees say they happily switch off work once they leave the office, both getting out the door and coming back take a toll, according to the Work Watch survey, by Atlanta-based Randstad, a human resources company.

The biggest source of stress is the first day back, according to 77 per cent of the 2065 full-time and part-time respondents, but even the last day before leaving can be traumatic, say 44 per cent of people in the survey.

"I suspect some of the results could be connected to increased workload because of layoffs," said Rebecca Johnson, senior vice president of Randstad.

Some 539,000 people lost their jobs in April, according to the latest US government non-farm payrolls report, pushing the US unemployment rate to 8.9 per cent.

Younger employees are more likely to stress above leaving on holiday. Some 35 per cent of Generation Y employees say it's hard to give up control of their projects compared with 32 percent of Generation X, those aged 35-44, 28 per cent of people 45 to 54, and 19 per cent of those over 55.