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There Are No Good Reasons To Waste Your Vacation Days
Posted by Insightlink on 11/04/16
Hard working Americans seem to have lost their way in recent decades.
It seems we have forgotten that we have a limited time here on earth as we work ourselves to death to pay our bills when we should be spending our time on worthwhile things that make us happy like family, friends, our passions and our hobbies. Many Americans persist in frittering away and wasting vacation days that are earned and deserved however, denying themselves the chance to rest and relax. In fact many are proud of being workaholics, which is commonplace and symptomatic of many employees in our culture today; but the reality is when we do the same thing day in and day out, week after week month after month we become dead inside and we forfeit our quality time for what? More work….
Does it bother us that we are known as the ‘No-Vacation Nation’? Not surprisingly the United States is the only developed country in the world without a single legally required paid vacation day or holiday. In stark contrast, figures from CEPR's study "No-Vacation Nation Revisited reveal that every country in the European Union is required, by law, to provide at least 4 weeks of paid vacation every year.
Italians, who get over 35 days of vacation per year might be enjoying life a whole lot more too as they live on average four years longer than Americans. Italians get paid for a 13th month in December (paid twice for working one month) so that they can afford to pay their bills and enjoy a vacation. The message “life is short’ seems to be alive and well in the world, just not in the United States!
Results from a 2000 SUNY-Oswego study that followed 12,000 middle-age men over nine years found that taking a yearly vacation decreases the risk of a fatal heart attack by 32 percent. If that isn't a good enough reason just by itself...
In his most recent documentary ‘Where to Invade Next’ Michael Moore asked Claudio Domenicali , the CEO of Ducati Italy , about the numerous weeks of paid vacation, and benefits employees receive and how this impacts their bottom line. Domenicalli had no problem with it because he said ‘the company feels they are being rewarded by giving this to their employees because the people are very committed… by paying a good wage with benefits still made a healthy profit” for the company.
Americans do understand this. Numerous studies have proven how important vacations are for our health, well-being, not to mention the impact vacations have on performance, morale, wellness, culture, productivity and retention. So, if we know this, how does that explain why, as a recent SHRM study showed, over half of American workers throw paid vacation days away and never use them?
Americans are caught in a web where they know it’s good for the soul to take a break but stil opt out. According to a survey conducted by Skift, 40% of Americans did not take a single day of vacation last year.
The reasons employees forfeited vacation days:
Our crazy-busy value system ignores and negates the facts that a rested and happy workforce is also more creative and productive. We know we need to rest and we need time away from work but somehow guilt rules our lives as over half of American employees actually feel guilty about taking time off.
Where does your company stand on each of the critical "4Cs" of employee engagement and satisfaction?
How many of each do you have?
AboutInsightlink 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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