52% of Americans have unused vacation time at the end of the year. Here are 2 reasons you want to be the other 48%.
The State of American Vacation
According to Project Time Off, while America has seen a slight improvement in vacation behavior, we still have some room for improvement:
- There were 705 million unused days of vacation last year.
- Of those 705 million days, 212 were forfeited — meaning $62.2 billion lost in vacation benefits. AKA: the average employee donated $561 back to their employer.
- Only 38% of employees say that their company culture encourages them to vacation.
Why aren't we taking time off? The answer is fear.
“When we look at the top reasons why people are not taking vacation time, it boils down to fear,” says Scott Dobroski, Glassdoor community expert. “The number one reason is that people fear
In fact, Project Time Off says that 61% of unused time-off is a result of people who were concerned they would appear less dedicated or more replaceable if they took a vacation. If this describes you, you might have it all wrong.
Other than using your well-earned vacation time to experience incredible memories with the people you care about (which should be enough), there are other impressive benefits to taking time-off.
2 reasons to plan your next vacation:
1. Your health
We're not just talking sunshine and vitamin D. Several studies on vacations and time off have found some pretty remarkable findings related to vacationing and its health benefits:
- Men who didn't take a vacation for several years were 30% more likely to have heart attacks than those who took time off.
- Women who went on a vacation less than once every two years were more likely to suffer from depression and increased stress than those who vacationed more frequently.
- Those who vacationed more often were found to have higher positive emotional levels, lower blood pressure and smaller waistlines (crazy, right?!)
2. Your career
Still worried about the impact of time-off on your work performance? Consider these career-focused benefits:
- Downtime is proven to be beneficial. We have a limited amount of brain power. Without time-off, you get depleted resulting in less productivity.
- New sounds, smells, language, tastes, sensations
andsights spark different synapses in the brain! If you want more creativity, travel.
- If networking and relationship building are part of your job, traveling is a great way to start a new conversation with a client! (For example: "Hey, John! I was recently in your area on a trip and I couldn't believe how [insert potential problem] is still impacting it. Wanted to check in and see how you're doing...")
So, go ahead — plan your next vacation! Your health, and maybe even your boss, will thank you later.