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Why Americans are taking less and less time off

(BUSINESS NEWS) Why are Americans afraid to take time off? Employers aren’t getting it right and a shift has taken place…

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Vacations becoming less common

I have no doubt that most US employees would love to take a vacation. That they don’t seems to reflect less on where the employee works and more on how said employee feels they fit in to that work place and what is at stake if they take a break.

Employees are feeling afraid

According to Indeed, a lot of vacation reticence may be the result of self-created fears that taking vacation will be detrimental to an employee’s career.

Notes the report, “They may be worried that if not there the boss, or colleagues, will suddenly start thinking they are not needed. Or, if aiming for a promotion or some kind or raise, which many good workers often are, that taking a vacation will put them back in their goals.”

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If you were to have asked me, I’d have said that is entirely the reason. But recent Indeed studies tell a different story.

Employers aren’t “getting it right”

Fully 57% of respondents reported some degree of difficulty taking vacation due to work culture. Indeed points out that it may be due to this same self-inflicted perception pointed out earlier, but it does indicate that “some offices in the U.S. are not getting it right when it comes to time off.”

If employees don’t feel their workplaces encourage vacation, managers and HR leaders should take heed of the problem. That is the theory anyway. That in itself is not an easy thing to do because of fear of word getting back to the boss.

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Other reasons besides fear

Other reasons vary. Maybe you can’t take time off because your significant other is tied up. Or maybe you already took time off and don’t have any more days accrued. Or maybe you are going to take a vacation but it hasn’t been scheduled yet, or the time period hasn’t arrived.

The Boston Globe gives a more prosaic excuse for vacation-phobia: a pile up of too much work, followed by they fear no one else can do their job, taking time off could get in the way of a promotion, and an employee wanting to show dedication to their company.

The all-work-no-play mentality may help with appearances in the office, but it’s not helping much else.

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The benefits of rest & relaxation

The more vacation you take, the less stressed you’ll feel. It may sound like common sense, but a report from the Families and Work Institute showed lower stress levels in individuals who took more than six consecutive days of vacation, and stress levels dipped even further among those who took 13 consecutive days.

Add to that fewer signs of depression, better family relationships, and overall better health and self-esteem, and you should be asking yourself why aren’t you booking a cruise instead of working late or over the weekend?

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#LessVacay

Written By

Nearly three decades living and working all over the world as a radio and television broadcast journalist in the United States Air Force, Staff Writer, Gary Picariello is now retired from the military and is focused on his writing career.

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