Magazine article HRMagazine

Unused Vacation Time: Paradise (and Productivity) Lost

Magazine article HRMagazine

Unused Vacation Time: Paradise (and Productivity) Lost

Article excerpt

Full-time workers in the U.S. took an average of 20.3 vacation days a year from 1976 through 2000, while workers today take only 16.2 days a year. It's a difference of nearly a full week.

Top Reasons for Leaving Time on the Table

* Don't want to return to a mountain of work.

* No one else can do the job.

* Cannot financially afford a trip.

* Harder to take time off as you grow in a company.

* Want to show complete dedication.

* Don't want to be seen as replaceable.

Source: The State of the American Vacation 2016.

The U.S. is moving toward becoming a no-vacation nation, and the consequences for employers-namely employee burnout and lower productivity-are no day at the beach. To a large extent, the blame falls on constant Internet connectivity, lack of manager encouragement and workers' misperceptions about what happens if they do unplug.

While there is no way to return to the pre-Web world, HR professionals and managers can help by telling employees to take the days they've earned, modeling good vacation habits and emphasizing the importance of taking a break. …

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