|Sharee on a work/vacation in China (2012).|
I read an article recently that noted that Americans are at an all time low in taking their vacation days and have forfeited close to 52.4 billion dollars in benefits. This essentially means that you are working for your employer for free, and it doesn't help in getting that promotion you maybe eluding to. More importantly, stress level on the job is at an all-time high. As the article points out: "All work and no play is not going to get you ahead..." according to Roger Dow, President & CEO of the US Travel Association.
Taking time off from work has several benefits:
- Reduced stress
- More productivity when you return to work
- Balance work/life
- Better physical health
- Lessen chance of burn-out
- New perspectives and ideas
- Improve mental health
- Strengthen family connections
I can attest to all of these benefits, and encourage everyone (especially Americans) to use their time off to their advantage. Whether it's a vacation (away from home), a work/vacation (conferences, training, remote work, etc in another location), or a staycation (home), it's a practice worthy of doing to keep your work and life balanced. Other countries have more vacation days (and work less hours) and their workers tend to display higher levels of happiness with their employer than their American counterparts.
Do you use all the vacation days offered by your employer? If not, why not?