The debate rages on; to take vacation days or to not take vacation days. As that old saying goes; that is the question. Lately I have been a big proponent of taking vacation days but for many there are serious pros and cons on each side. As I said in a recent blog, while I’m all for taking vacation days it did take me a while to get to the pro side. And I’m sure it helped that I recently took a whopping ten days off, had a blast and return to my desk refreshed and ready to jump in with both feet.
Many Americans and Canadians never take their paid vacation days … not ever. Even though it has been proven, time off can definitely help to better one’s well-being and output. Let’s face it we’re all stress out and overextended and feeling tapped. But long gone are the days where it’s a sure thing that once summer or winter or any season for that matter arrives vacation plans are made.
Why Not Take Earned Vacation Days?
I was with a group of hard working over achievers recently and was spouting out about my time off and the joy I experienced and was shocked by the response of some of my peers. Most were amazed that I actually took the time off especially this time of year and all were just a wee bit envious. They said, just like the surveys do, that given their druthers they would definitely take all vacation time due to them and more if possible. So what is stopping them, you ask?
It would seem so many of us feel the pinch and are nervous to actually be away from the office for a couple of days or even a week. Sometimes it’s all about the thought of; out of the office therefore possibly out of a job; sometimes it’s all about the amount of work it takes to get out of the office as well as the piles of work that will be waiting.
What Country Provides the Most Vacation Days?
As part of employment, full time employees in the US and Canada are usually given ten days’ vacation and just about 66% of them don’t even use it all up. Some of the most sought after companies for employment happen to be organizations that understand the importance of taking vacation days off. They not only include vacation days in employment agreements but they insist on them being taken. And just because on average employees don’t take their vacation days off in no way means they wouldn’t like to.
So I was surprised, very surprised when I recently read an article about the country’s leading the way when it comes to vacations days (a combination of paid vacation days and paid holiday days). As Oprah would say, one thing I now know for sure is; we North Americans pale in comparison.
Here is the list of the top ten countries:
1. Brazil – 41 days
2. Sweden – 41 days
3. Finland – 40 days
4. Lithuania – 39 days
5. France – 38 days
6. Portugal – 38 days
7. United Kingdom – 37 days
8. Iceland – 37 days
9. Austria – 35 days
10. Denmark – 34 days
In these times when economics require many companies to downscale, reorganize and cut back, workers are very hesitant to take the paid vacation days they are due. It’s tricky situation because not taking owed days off only contributes to the stress. Taking vacation time off helps to improve one’s overall health, enhance resourcefulness and strengthen efficiency to name only a few. So now is the time to start planning your vacation.