Paid Vacation Time: The Stats
According to CBS News, in 2015, 55% of employees didn’t use all of their vacation time, resulting in 658 million unused paid vacation days nationwide. This is a staggering number.
And, although it may seem like it makes the most sense economically to have as many employees in the office at all times as possible, studies show that time away from work decreases stress, increases levels of engagement in the workplace, and can have a positive effect on productivity and performance levels.
Paid Vacation time: The Comparison
The Harvard Business Review conducted a study between the U.S. and countries that have laws dictating paid vacation time. While the U.S. has no such laws, countries such as Australia (residents are granted 28 paid vacation days a year) and Sweden (residents enjoy 41 paid vacation days per year) allow for much more personal time.
The study concluded that business leaders in countries offering more paid vacation time were more likely to work at a faster pace and have a higher level of focus throughout the work day.
Paid Vacation Time: The Bottom Line
Clearly, it seems important for employees to have breaks throughout the work year in order to avoid burnout, frustration, and high levels of productivity. There are several ways your business can promote the use of employee vacation time to ensure your office does not suffer the negative effects.
First, as a boss and leader, you can set the example by personally using your own vacation time. This sets the tone that it is acceptable and encouraged to use the allotted time.
Next, you can mandate breaks by having surprise holidays or days off, if your business allows it.
For example, shutting down the day after Thanksgiving or around the holidays is a great way to give your employees a rest during what is – for many businesses – a slower time of year.
At times, employees may be “fearful” to take their vacation time as they do not want to look bad or risk losing their job. Being open and communicative with your employees about the fact that you want them to use their personal time can help alleviate these issues and promote more regular breaks and eliminate the risk of a lack of productivity due to burn out.
Employees taking advantage of occasional breaks also can improve office morale and thus employee retention.
Paid Vacation Time: How a PEO Can Help
Remember that this is an important part of ensuring the happiness of your employees. Your PEO can be useful in helping determine the best types of communication to use with employees about vacations, how to set and enforce policies around paid time off, and analyze the usage of these days among your employees. We can help determine which PEO will be most efficient in helping your company decipher what vacation policies work best for you and your business.