Workers believe time off is more important than health insurance, survey finds

FILE-People visit the beach next to the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, CA. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images).

Getting a reprieve from the daily 9 to 5 grind of a job through paid time off is a big deal for most workers, and it even trumps having health benefits from their employer, a sentiment shared in a new survey

In a report by the Pew Research Center called "How Americans view their jobs," the group surveyed 5,902 workers in February with questions about their current job, experiences in the workplace, and workplace benefits.

Approximately 62% of workers said it's important to have a job that offers paid time off compared to 51% of respondents who said having employer-paid insurance is the priority.

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For workers who said their employer offers them paid time off for vacation, doctor’s appointments, or to deal with minor illnesses, 48% said they take all the time off provided, while 46% said they take less time off than what's allowed.

The D.C.-based think tank noted several reasons employees provided for not using all of their time off. Approximately 52% said they don’t feel compelled to take time off, but 49% said they worry about falling behind at work if they take extra time off.

Another 43% of workers said they feel bad taking time off because their colleagues would have to take on additional work.

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A small group of respondents (19%) said taking time off could hurt their chances for job advancement, with 16% saying they might risk losing their job, and 12% responding that their manager discourages them from taking time off. 

Job satisfaction was another area that garnered a lot of responses from employees. Pew noted that 51% reported being extremely or very satisfied with their job overall, and 37% said they are somewhat satisfied, compared to 12% saying they were dissatisfied with their job.

This story was reported from Washington, D.C.