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The Importance of Taking a Vacation

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At last an article defining the legitimacy of taking time off. The importance of taking a vacation is more than just a matter of taking some time off to do the things that make you happy. A new study reported that only about 25% of working Americans are taking at least a week’s vacation, even with a paid vacation. So why is this phenomenon occurring?

Used Vacation Time

Of all the 2,000 adults polled, less than 25% of them actually took vacation time. Even less than that took the time off and remained completely off. A new study finds that of the 25% most of the American working force replied saying that while they may have burned vacation time and not reported to the office, they ended up working from home. Now this is only concerning those people that are offered paid vacation time. 77% of all the U.S. workforce is offered paid vacation time at the full time level amounting to roughly 14 days off or two full weeks of paid vacation. Yet of that time offered, less and less time is being used. The thinking behind this pattern is that with the state of the economy being so rough, by working one can catch up on extra work or get more accomplished by working the days instead of taking them off.

The State of The Economy

The poor state of the economy has many Americans holding onto their jobs very tightfisted. That being said, many are worried that if they use their allocated vacation days they will either fall behind on work or disappoint management. While the average American full time worker has about 14 days off per year, that is less than their European counterparts which are basically guaranteed by customary law, three weeks of paid vacation or better per year. Let’s face it, the economy may be getting better by experts, but many American workers and working families have yet to see how the so called turnaround is helping families come out of The Great Recession. The current working generation as well as the younger adults entering into the workforce all have the same basic notions of employment and the importance of maintaining that job once acquired. Clearly the working Americans have become products of their economical environment, cautious and timid in taking any action which might compromise their income or career. However, some of the best business related advice is often investing in yourself and the state of your career.

The Cost of a Paid Vacationvacation

The cost of a paid vacation is another reason that many Americans aren’t taking their paid time off. While one may still be earning the same as if they were working on the paid vacation day, more likely it is an average of what you would make in a given week. That being said, working and gaining the higher rate was better for the paycheck especially since many Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck. Student loan debt, credit card debt, and mortgage debt have pretty much consumed the bulk of salaries. Where once the median income could have provided a decent life, along with inflation and the job market anything but promising, many have become fearful towards taking time off for fear of losing one’s job.

The real cost of taking a vacation can lie in the expenditures of paying for taking time off as opposed to being paid to take time off. The difference is in what is costing you to take time off. But to every negative there is always a positive, and it is finding the balance between the two that will also bring balance to life. While work may bring a paycheck it also brings unneeded stress into your life. Being able to get away from work, even for a long weekend can be enough to recharge your motivation and efficiency.

The Benefits of Taking a Vacation

The benefits of taking a vacation often outweigh any downside to it. While cost is often the biggest issue when it comes to a person thinking about taking a vacation, there are smarter ways to take paid time off rather just pouring money out for expensive trips. If your company allows it, try breaking up your vacation days. If you can avoid taking a full week or more off go for it. The idea is to not only spread out your time off throughout the year, but to make your time off really count.

More people need to understand that taking time off from work not only can allow one to gain pay for time away from the career, but can allow for a regeneration of efficiency. Personal growth and happiness are the keys to professional growth and ability. A happy workforce is more likely to produce positive results than that of an overworked and discontent workforce. The importance of taking vacations are not ever solely based on getting away as much as being able to de-stress and recharge, but it doesn’t hurt to get away either!


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