Do you feel guilty about taking time off? Apparently, here in the U.S. a lot of us do. According to an article in Forbes, “Why America has become ‘the no-vacation nation,’” a survey of 1,200 full-time American workers showed that 47% of them didn’t take all their vacation time the previous year.
Another article by CNBC cited a poll of almost 2,600 U.S. adults conducted by Bankrate, showing that 13% of U.S. employees plan to take a quarter of their vacation this year; and 4% of Americans aren’t planning to take any vacation at all.
Many of us have heard research like this before. Why don’t we take time off, you may ask?
A few reasons are usually cited.
You get stressed getting ready for a vacation (i.e., getting all your work done before you leave) and you get stressed when you get back (e.g., dealing with all those emails that piled up in your inbox).
Even when you’re on vacation, you’re still checking email on your phone (to avoid the above scenario), so you never really unplug. With those kinds of actions, why even take a vacation?
If you leave the office, it will hurt your position in the company. The Forbes article stated that 14% of the survey respondents said not using all their vacation days would increase probability of advancement.
Why should we take time off? The number one reason is health.
Overworked employees experience burnout and stress. According to a study in another CNBC article, overwork puts individuals at high risk of incident strokes and yet another shows that “sleep deprivation, a common side effect of overwork, is linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and more.”
As I wrote in a previous blog, I believe in taking vacations. No matter how hard you work, how important your business is to you, I think everyone performs better when they take time out to take time off.