According to Project: Time Off, a national movement to transform American attitudes and change behavior, America’s work culture may be on the verge of a major change. Results from a 2017 survey indicate a change in attitude about taking time off from work after fifteen years of reluctance by Americans to step away from their desks. Despite the challenges of taking time off, the trendline is now headed in a positive direction. The 2017 State of American Vacation survey involved 7,331 American workers, including 2,593 managers.
Among the survey's key findings were:
· Americans are using an average of 16.8 vacation days per year.
· 54% of Americans ended 2016 with unused vacation days, donating an average of $604 in unused vacation per worker to their employers.
· Americans left 662 million vacation days unused; 206 million of which could not be rolled over or paid out.
“American workers believe that the path to career success requires sacrificing vacation and embracing work martyrdom,” states Project: Time Off.1 However, this could not be further from the truth. Taking time off benefits individual well-being, relationships, performance, and professional success. It provides an opportunity to refresh one’s brain and renew one’s attitude. A lack of time off contributes to stress-related illnesses--mental, physical, and emotional—and has even been attributed to workplace bullying.
As a manager, you assume responsibility for the well-being of both subordinates and self. You can facilitate taking time off by removing barriers and modeling good vacation behavior. When was the last time you took time off?
1 Project: Time Off; State of American Vacation 2017; http://www.projecttimeoff.com/state-american-vacation-2017