Americans work long hours by the world’s standards, and take very few vacations comparatively. This trend may be motivated by American’s work ethic but it’s counterproductive; overworking hurts employee productivity.
Vacations Improve Productivity and Work Satisfaction
Studies show that employees who use the vacation time offered to them perform better on the job and enjoy higher rates of motivation and job satisfaction. To a lesser extent, the same is true for work breaks in general. Getting away from work is important for maximizing productivity, and yet many Americans don’t do it.
Most Americans do not take all of their time off and many of them don’t take any of it at all. 63% of Americans have not traveled in the past 12 months. As reasons for giving up their allotted vacation time, workers cite a variety of reasons.
- Belief that there is too much work that needs to be done
- Belief that no one else can do the job while they’re gone
- Financial challenges
- Fear of allowing work to pile up
- Fear of not meeting goals
- Desire to show dedication by not taking time off
And even when they do take their vacation, the majority of Americans admit to doing work while they are away from the office. So how do you help employees help themselves by getting out of the office for a week or two? The company needs to encourage them.
How Much Vacation Should Employers Give?
The US Government does not mandate vacation time. That means businesses are responsible for deciding the number of days to give their employees without the proper research to guide them. How are businesses even supposed to know? We have to depend on independent research for that. But until we encourage employees to take all of their vacation time, the answer to that question may not even matter. The average American was given 14 days of vacation this past year. Of those 14 days, they only used 10.
You can check out more statistics on America’s vacationing habits with our infographic below.