There’s no bad time to take time off. But in a new guest post, Mark S. Brown gives five reasons why people don’t take advantage of vacation.
Here’s some wisdom from Mark S. Brown:
Americans only take half their vacation. Really? If the statistic is true, then I think half of Americans must take all their vacation, and the other half take none. I know plenty of people that take all their vacation, and a few that never take vacation.
Why do we not take vacation? Here are my leading theories:
1. Vacation is still work. We cannot seem to get away. We are connected by phone and email, and our company expects us to stay connected and work. So why go if you are just going to work? (Note: these are not real vacations.)
2. You don’t want to be disconnected. Even though it is hard to be disconnected in this modern world, leaving your desk and maybe some of your gadgets behind makes you feel unconnected. It is amazing how we have become a society that connects more online than off.
3. You like your routine. There are some personality types that just prefer a daily routine. Vacations become so stressful that they are not worth it. I am glad I don’t fall into this category.
4. You feel like you would be penalized by your employer. When you look around your company, do people that don’t take vacations get treated better? I’m not sure how prevalent penalties really are, but I am sure there is an increase in companies that expect you to do some work while on vacation.
5. You would rather work than take a vacation. You may be one of those Americans that just feel like work is who you are. You prefer to work hard and find your own success. You are probably uncomfortable on vacation. You can’t relax because it makes you feel unproductive.
I am glad I am included in the group of Americans that enjoy vacation. As soon as I finish one, I am planning the next. Did you take a vacation this year?
By the way, Mark’s data is true. Americans really do take only half of their paid vacation:
91% of full-time U.S. workers receive paid vacation, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research…[and] employees only use 51% of their eligible paid vacation time and paid time off.
Plus, there is support for his five theories. According to reporting from Forbes, people work on vacation and are generally afraid to go:
Only 25% said they use all their paid days each year and 61% said that while they’re on vacation, they continue to work. A quarter of respondents said that a colleague got in touch about work while they were on vacation and 20% heard from their boss.
Thirty three percent of respondents are afraid no one else in the office can properly fill in for them. Another large group, 28%, fear that they’ll fall behind. Seventeen percent are afraid they’ll lose their jobs, 17% fear they won’t meet their goals, and 6% said they were afraid of the boss.
The answer to the vacation crisis is to go on vacation and trust that it is what is best for you. If you can disconnect, you’ll get recharged. And if you fall behind or lose your job, that’s a good sign you don’t have a great employer in the first place!
Take time off. We’ll be here when you get back.
Mark S. Brown is an executive coach who is passionate about personal development. He works to make a difference in people’s lives by empowering them with skills and knowledge that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in. Mark has been coached, mentored, and certified by John Maxwell and his team. This coaching certification allows Mark to successfully coach and train individuals, groups, organizations, and companies.