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Do Americans Work Too Hard?


Posted by Insightlink on 07/07/14

If you are like most Americans, you work too hard. Most of us think working crazy hours is what it takes to prove we are passionate, productive team players. Some of us are so driven we choose overtime over vacation to prove how dedicated we really are. We mistakenly believe if we work harder and longer we will be more productive and more successful despite the evidence that the secret to being an effective worker is not working too hard.


Time away from work is a key ingredient to work life balance. Vacations have been proven over and over again to give us a better life perspective. Taking a break renews our spirit, rests our souls and refuels us so that when we return to work we are more energized and motivated to work hard. Our research at Insightlink shows that, while we may be cognizant of these facts, we largely ignore them as less than 7 in 10 of us think we are able to find a good balance between our free time and our career obligations.


In a recent survey by Purchasing Power 59% of respondents said they ‘left at least one paid time off day unused at the end of last year while 35% of them left five days or more’. Strategies designed to increase productivity then should include a focus on encouraging employees to take time off.

 

  1. Set a good example and take all your own vacation.
  2. Recognize outstanding performance with additional vacation days.
  3. Make it mandatory that all employees must take their allotted vacations every year; no exceptions.
  4. Eliminate or limit the ability for employees to cash out their vacation days.
  5. Design and adopt a more liberal vacation policy that reflects your company culture.


Statistically, research has proven that any or all of these steps are going to have a positive impact on productivity, morale and well being, so isn’t it time we all took a break?

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Insightlink Communications are experts in employee survey design, data collection and analysis. Since 2001 we've helped companies of all sizes measure and improve their employee satisfaction and engagement.



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