Survey: Employees fail to return from travel

1st Aug 2007

Employers giving staff time off for extended travelling holidays shouldn’t always expect them to return, a survey by reveals. Of travellers who had plans to return to a confirmed university place or job, as many as 59 percent gave “serious consideration” to quitting their commitments in order to carry on leading a nomadic existence for just a little longer.

The results will come as worrying reading for any boss currently mulling over a staff members application for a sabbatical.

For those keen to see their staff return (albeit with an envious tan) the chances are highest if a sabbatical of between 1-3 months is granted.


For travellers on this timescale, the survey showed that although over three-quarters (78 percent) of those polled gave a “passing thought” (63 percent) or “serious consideration” (15 percent) to the idea, only four percent followed their heart, not to return. 



The survey also looked at those people with initial travel plans of between 4-6 months and 7-12 months inclusive. The results clearly show that the longer people spent on the road, the more likely they were to continue their travels indefinitely.


Of those venturing away for 4-6 months, nine percent failed to honour commitments of university or work, while for those with plans to travel for 7-12 months, the figure rose to a slightly worrying 12 percent.


David Smith, general manager for explained, “Often people who decide to travel the world are at a seminal moment in their lives - taking breaks in the form of a gap year between studies or within the early stages of their career. The impact that seeing different places and cultures can have on your mind is powerful; there’s every chance that it will make people think long and hard about what they want to do with their lives, and whether the direction they were taking back home was really where they wanted to go.”


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