The Problem With Unused Vacation Days

7 years ago

vacationAre you planning a vacation this summer?

Or, are you planning on taking any time off in 2016?

Here’s a sobering thought.

Over the past 15 years, American workers have been taking less and less vacation days.

A recent study by the U.S. Travel Association reveals some disturbing numbers: our vacation usage has fallen a full week less than it was in 2000.

More than half of American workers—55 percent—left vacation days unused last year.

That translates to 658 million vacation days unused.

Of those days, workers lost 222 million of them.

Why did we have this seeming inability—or unwillingness—to use our vacation days?

Thirty percent of us actually felt that no one else could do our job.

Twenty-two percent said they wanted to show complete dedication.

Nineteen percent didn’t want to be perceived as irreplaceable.

The problem is, of course, that lost time off is itself irreplaceable, and the good news is that workers who did take more time off reported less stress.

By the way, 658 million unused vacation days translates into $65 billion in lost income and 1.6 million jobs lost.

To learn more about the health and work-related benefits of going on vacation, read our in-depth piece on why you should go on vacation.


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