Answer: Just 28% of American workers plan to use all of their vacation days this year
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It’s no secret that Americans work hard. In the U.S., 85.8 percent of males and 66.5 percent of females work more than 40 hours per week. A Gallup report estimated that the average full-time worker in the United States works 47 hours a week, one of the highest figures in the world, and significantly higher than the rates in Western Europe. These long working hours create habits that other countries don’t understand. Americans tend to eat at their desks, barely take any family leave, send emails after work hours, and worst of all hardly ever go on vacation. According to CNBC, only 28% of Americans plan to max out their vacation days this year.
Despite getting paid time-off, most American workers generally don’t take most of it and some experts warn that this could be detrimental to your health. Research shows time off may be a good chance for workers to catch up on much-needed sleep and can even help boost productivity once you get back to the office. More directly, medical studies have shown that long hours can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. A nice break can also help stave off “burnout” and a prolonged absence can also illustrate a worker’s value to the company. For example, if work stops while you’re gone, you’ll know you’re an asset to your firm and can thus use this time away from the desk to illustrate your importance to the organization. This may be helpful in year-end reviews or when it comes time to ask for a salary increase.
There is a small population of Americans that won’t take this advice. Roughly 4% of Americans aren’t planning to take any vacation time at all, even though their employers offer it. Even if these workers do get out of the office, chances are technology will keep them “on call”. In fact, many Americans don’t fully leave work behind at all according to Glassdoor. The job review website found that 29% of employees who took time off say a co-worker contacted them about a job-related matter while they were on vacation. Last but not least, even if health benefits aren’t enough to help you book a vacation, maybe money can be the motivation. According to Project: Time Off Americans gave up 212 million days off in 2017. That amounts to $62.2 billion in “lost benefits,” according to the organization. If you’re worried about the cost, don’t stress, we’ve got you covered. Enter here to win a +$5,000 African Safari giveaway.