We’ve all used every excuse in the book for not taking vacation (or not unplugging while on vacation).
“My co-workers won’t survive without me.” “Something major will happen while I’m gone and then I’ll be fired because I wasn’t there.” “Taking a vacation would make me more stressed right now.”
And while they’re all baloney, we’ve still managed to convince ourselves that we don’t need to take breaks.
So I’m going to give you one reason today why you should get offline and go away: Because when you don’t use your vacation days, you’re essentially paying your employer.
Yup. According to a recent article on CNN titled, “Your Boss Wants You to Take a Vacation” (how’s that for a headline?), American employees forfeited 212 million vacation days in 2017, otherwise sacrificing $62 billion in lost benefits.
“In other words, the average employee actually donated $561 in ‘free’ work to their employer by not using their vacation time,” says the article author Katie Denis, citing a study done by Project: Time Off.
Let me break that down for you. Companies set aside a certain number of days off for each employee, expecting that they will be paying some money for their employees not to be working. While some organizations offer rollover days—allowing employees to accrue and use any leftover vacation days from the previous year—many don’t, which means if you don’t use them, you lose them. This means that rather than get that extra money without having to work, you’re giving that money back in unnecessary labor.
The point? Take your vacation days—all of them.
And not just because it’s costing you much-undeserved stress and energy. According to career coaches, taking breaks makes you more motivated and productive in the long run, puts your career into perspective, and even helps you get promoted. Want hard numbers next to those facts? The CNN articles goes on to say that “those who travel with all or most of their time are 28% happier with their companies and 24% happier with their jobs than those that travel with little to none of their vacation days.”
Photo of person working courtesy of Caiaimage/Agnieszka Olek/Getty Images.
Previously an editor for The Muse, Alyse is proud to prove that yes, English majors can change the world. She’s written almost 500 articles for The Muse on anything from productivity tips to cover letters to bad bosses to cool career changers, many of which have been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., CNBC's Make It, USA Today College, Lifehacker, Mashable, and more. She calls many places home, including Illinois where she grew up and the small town of Hamilton where she attended Colgate University, but she was born to be a New Yorker. In addition to being an avid writer and reader, Alyse loves to dance, both professionally and while waiting for the subway.More from this Author