According to research by audit firm EY (formerly Ernst & Young), employees who use more vacation days are rated higher, have less stress, have lower turnover rates, have improved mental skills, and increased productivity. Most employees ignore this advice, however.
In 2015, CNBC.com reported that unused vacation days are at a 40-year high. And according to Oxford Economics, U.S. workers are using only 77 percent of their paid time off. In total, that’s 169 million days forfeited, amounting to $52.4 billion in lost benefits.
John de Graaf, executive director of the nonprofit Take Back Your Time, says, “Americans don’t take all their vacation time because they are fearful of the workload they’ll come back to and feel they have to keep up with the pace of their co-workers.”
The truth? Fear is a debilitating emotion. I challenge you to rise above it and serve as a role model for your employees by taking every 2016 vacation day you earn. If you have the right person in every chair – Chapter One in my forthcoming book – surely you have people on your team who you can delegate work to in your absence, so you do not return to an enormous workload.
Motivational speaker Les Brown got it right when he said, “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” Please don’t be one of those people. Take time off this holiday season to recharge your battery and commit to honoring yourself in 2016 by taking every vacation day you earn.
My job is to serve as a role model for you. With that, I’m signing off until January 7 to recharge, and spend priceless time with my family and friends. I have so much gratitude that you’ve stayed engaged and followed my blog. Thank you for wanting to be better and fueling me forward. I wish you a magical holiday season.