Why America needs a vacation from work

Why America needs a vacation from work

There’s a lot to love about the American workforce. We’re well-educated, creative and determined. But there’s a dark side, too.

  • More than half of all Americans don’t take all their vacation days.1
  • Two in three employees report working even when they do take a vacation day.2

These numbers indicate some U.S. employees may be a little too hard-working. And that’s a problem.

Everyone needs to take a regular vacation from work.

Taking time away from the office is crucial to our overall well-being. Vacations, even stay-at-home ones, help reduce stress which may lead to improved health and a better workplace attitude. Vacations may also help boost effectiveness. The day-to-day grind can stifle creativity and productivity. When we’re well rested we’re better able to see the “big picture” and find novel solutions to business problems.

Good bosses encourage their employees to take a break.

Unfortunately, many American managers don’t communicate the benefits of time away to their employees. According to this study, 66 percent of employees feel that their company culture is ambivalent, discouraging or sends mixed messages about time off.

Managers who want the best from their employees (and isn’t that everyone?), should encourage their employees to regularly take time away from the office. A generous time-off policy is a great start, but even more important is creating a culture that values a healthy work-life balance. Executives who never take vacation or check email 24/7 send the wrong message to employees. Good managers should encourage their employees to plan time away from their workday obligations. And because mobile devices make it so easy (and even addicting) to stay connected to the office, managers should set clear expectations for out-of-office communications. Let your employees know that those midnight emails rarely warrant a response and can wait until they are back in the office.

 

1 http://www.projecttimeoff.com/research/state-american-vacation-2016

2 https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/vacation-realities-2017/

Melissa DeLayRead all author posts

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