How many vacation days a year do you get at your place of work? Two weeks, none, or unlimited?
Today’s topic is paid leave in the Unites States – are American workers using their much-deserved time off? Research indicates that most Americans only take about two weeks off per year.
According to research from Project: Time Off, “By forfeiting vacation days, American workers gave up $66.4 billion in 2016 benefits alone. That means that last year employees effectively donated an average of $604 in work time to their employer.”
Why is this so important? The Project’s GfK survey data showed that: “Unused vacation days cost the U.S. economy $236 billion in 2016, due to lost spending. That spending would have supported 1.8 million American jobs and generated $70 billion in additional income for American workers. If the 54 percent of workers who left time unused in 2016 took just one more day off, it would drive $33 billion in economic impact.”
Not only does this have an economic effect on the country, it also takes a mental toll on the workers and their companies. Colleen Kane for Fortune writes: “when people don’t take time off to reset, their resulting stress and burnout can be detrimental to both workers and their employers.”
The benefits for employers for so-called “unlimited” vacation policies are illustrated in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal: “Employers say they like the policies because they can minimize staff burnout. It doesn’t hurt that they can save on costs, as the policies mean they no longer pay employees who leave the company for unused vacation days.” On the other hand, “unlimited vacation time isn’t a perfect solution to an overworked workforce. Employees can become more hesitant to take time off when they’re allowed to do it any time—and for as long as they desire.”
What do you think? Would you take unlimited vacation if it was offered? Or would you find it difficult to be away from the workplace?