More than two-thirds of Americans did not avail of their full holidays in the whole of the year just gone-by due to fear of losing the job and intense work pressure, a survey has found.

Out of 667 employees surveyed, as many as 66 per cent did not take their full vacation in 2009, said a survey by Right Management, a division of the U.S.-based consultancy firm Manpower, adding only 34 per cent workers availed of their full vacation.

The survey attributed employees skipping vacations to fear about job security and pressure to do more in streamlined operations.

The survey says working so hard without a break may lead to lower productivity and leave workers more vulnerable to medical conditions that may result in increased health costs.

“All employees should make it their new year resolution to use allocated vacation in 2009. Not doing so can lead to increased stress and related health issues, affecting performance and productivity,” Right Management president and COO Douglas J. Matthews said.

Right Management — the talent and career management arm of Manpower — said the physical and psychological conditions in which people show up for work every day can have a real impact on workforce performance. Apart from fear of job loss, many organisations have cultures that demand people to be ‘on’ all the time. And the survey found that technological advancements continue to enable this 24/7 mindset.