Our Vacation Problem

Our Vacation Problem

Just after Labor Day, The New York Times spotlighted a survey that found that 40 percent of American employees fail to use all of their paid vacation time, opening up a discussion among experts about some causes and solutions.

As some suggested, our work ethic is part of our culture for better and worse.  As we posted last month, Americans work far more than our European counterparts but are no more productive (per capita).  We are seeing some interesting developments in our work culture though, like some companies offering “unlimited” vacation, eliminating the concept of timecards altogether and saving administrative costs.

The responsibility of any solution rests largely with a company’s leader, an idea we touched on in a previous post about bosses setting good examples. John de Graaf, whose organization Take Back Your Time promotes work-life balance, points out that it’s not enough for bosses to just give their employees vacation time. They must encourage them to take that time and not create obstacles to doing so.

John Christianson
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