A recent survey showed that most Americans use only half of their paid vacation time, and while they were on vacation, many of them still worked.
There is an epidemic of overwork in the U.S. today. We are the only first world country that does not legally guarantee paid leave. Today we’ll look at why vacation time is crucial not only for the well being of employees, but also for the health of your business and the economy at large.
Why Employee Vacation Is Essential
Americans average just ten vacation days every year. This trails far behind the European countries, most of which offer 28 to 40 vacation days every year. Many of these countries also offer 35 hour work weeks. Belgium and the Netherlands both give employees almost a full month of vacation time every year and are (amazingly) 2% more productive than U.S. workers.
Why is it that other countries are able to produce more work in less time? Vacation time has been shown to keep employees healthier by reducing stress. Reducing stress, in turn, is related to a reduction in everything from heart attack death to susceptibility to colds and flu. A healthier worker is a more productive worker.
Further, vacation time boosts psychological health both in and out of the workplace. Reduced stress levels are linked to reduced risks for depression. Vacation time also reduces the risk of employee burnout and increases workplace morale. If employees can take time off when they really need it, it is more likely that they’ll be able to give their work their full attention when they get back.
2. Vacation Time Benefits Businesses
Many business owners hesitate to offer paid vacation time because it is hard for them to afford it. Companies that keep staffing at a minimum also have difficulty keeping operations going when employees take vacations. While these are valid concerns, businesses ultimately benefit from employee vacations.
Not only does vacation time make employees healthier and more productive, it also makes them more loyal to their companies. Happier employees provide better service, which leads to happier customers. Interestingly, when employees choose not to take vacation time, it can be a big warning sign for a business. If there is dysfunction in your company, like an HR issue or even wrongdoing, many employees will resist taking vacation time to cover it up. When employees take vacation time, these issues become apparent and can be addressed.
3. When Employees Take Vacation Time, The Economy Benefits
If Americans took all of their available vacation time, the economy would benefit from over $160 billion in total sales. It would also result in a $21 billion gain in tax revenue. Additionally, if employees took all available vacation days, it would cause an increase of $67 billion dollars worth of travel spending. The bottom line seems to be that when Americans aren’t working, they are spending money. The more time they get outside of the office, the better the outlook for the overall economy.
Improve Workplace Wellness With ARCpoint Labs
Vacation time is essential for maintaining employee wellness and creating a better business. ARCpoint Labs is dedicated to helping create healthy workplace environment. Find an ARCpoint Labs location near you to learn more!