It’s no secret that taking a vacation can do you a power of good. Statistics suggest, for example, that 40% of people taking time off come back to work feeling re-energized and more productive. Even better, fully 50% of people report feeling more rested and “reconnected to their personal life” after taking time away from the office.
This why heading abroad shouldn’t just be seen as a luxury – or as being “lazy” and shirking your workplace responsibilities, but that time away can actually make you a better worker and a happier person. No wonder then that a number of companies have begun to offer unlimited vacation to their staff, and have seen astonishing returns for their efforts. Some employers claim they have observed a 200% increase in productivity after implementing such a strategy.
Yet despite all the obvious benefits of taking time away from the office, ever more of us are struggling to actually take time off. As reported here recently, even when we do go away we’re ever more likely than ever before to spend time checking into the office from a mobile phone.
Travel news company Skift recently carried out a survey of over 2,000 Americans to see whether they’re managing to take their full holiday entitlement; sadly the figures make for some depressing reading.
As it turns out the report found that 41% of Americans took absolutely no vacation time at all in 2015. Of those that did manage to drag themselves away from the office very few workers managed to take their full complement of available vacation days.
As stated in the title of this article, 17% of workers took less than 5 days of vacation last year. Combined with those who took no vacation time at all, that means that 58% of Americans took considerably below their annual vacation entitlement.
If these figures aren’t stark enough, it’s important to appreciate that these are average numbers taken from thousands of US workers. A more granular look at the data reveals which groups of people are most likely to be missing out on significant chunks of vacation time.
The data suggests, for example, that women are on average taking rather less vacation time than their male counterparts. In addition, the age-group taking the least time off work are the younger workers – those aged between 18 and 35 – who are busily trying to establish themselves in their chosen career.
The survey also found that lower-income earners, and those living in rural areas, are more likely than average to take little or no vacation time.
Despite reporting similar figures last year it is still sad to see that the importance of taking time away from the office hasn’t been given more emphasis by American companies and employers over the last 12 months.
The key message here is to not feel guilty about taking your vacation time. You work hard for it, and you’re both happier and more productive when you return. So unplug. Look through some brochures. Don’t let 2016 disappear before you know it. Go visit the travel agent today (and if you need travel insurance then let us know).