Working in health care is great and rewarding, but can also come with some downsides. Working in general is great and rewarding, but it is still work. I think that is why some people refer to 'Work' as a four letter word. That being said, some wonderful human decided that we should get time off to relax, rewind, and reset. Well, that is what a vacation is supposed to do. Americans are the worst at vacation! And no, I am not referring to the Americans abroad who stick out like a sore thumb. As a Nation we take very little time off for vacation and travel. According to a study by US Travel Association, workers in the US left about 52% of their earned vacation time unused at the end of 2017. That is a lot of time that could be spent recharging and relaxing somewhere warm (or cold). But, there is more!
The average American worker took about 17.2 days of vacation but they only traveled approximately 8 of those days. That is only 46% of the time being used to get out and see the world.
Grand Teton, 2015
The US is the only advanced economy in the world that does not guarantee paid time off to its employees. Our friends across the pond in the European Union for example, get a minimum of 20 vacation days for all workers regardless of whether they work in the public or private sector. According to a recent survey study by the American Psychological Association (APA), “Taking time off helps the majority of U.S. workers recover from stress and experience positive effects that improve their well-being and job performance”. The survey also found that, “The majority of working Americans reported positive effects of taking vacation time and said when they return to work, their mood is more positive (68 percent) and they have more energy (66 percent) and motivation (57 percent) and feel less stressed (57 percent). Additionally, working adults reported that, following time off, they were more productive (58 percent) and their work quality was better (55 percent).”
All the numbers aside, that is a good reason for managers and employers to encourage paid time off. And of course these positive effects only last so long. Others will argue that the time away from work makes you more stressed out on your return to work because of the mountain of stuff you missed while away from work. Well I would argue that whoever said that needs to go on vacation......
Puerto Rico, 2017
Because that is what I will be doing by the time this blog is posted!