As the dog days of summer approach, many employees flee the heat and humidity of August for a shady mountain or breezy beach. I’m counting the days to my upcoming vacation in Maine.
Is it possible, though, that summer vacationers like me are actually in the minority? In stark contrast to media reports touting the rise of “unlimited vacation” policies, American workers aren’t actually using many vacation days – in fact, respondents to a survey by Glassdoor reported they had used only half of their eligible time off.
What’s going on? Could it be a fear of what they might face when they return? That’s what 40 percent of respondents cited as the No. 1 reason they resist taking a vacation, according to a survey from the U.S. Travel Association.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Vacations offer the opportunity to bond with family and friends, not to mention regroup and recharge.
Add these articles to your beach reading list to learn why vacations matter and find out how to return from your vacation rested and relaxed.
Surprise! Millennials Feel the Most Vacation Shame
“A new survey commissioned by Alamo Rent A Car found that ‘vacation shaming’ is discouragingly common in today’s workforce. …These results varied by age, though, with roughly 60 percent of millennials reporting feeling ‘vacation shamed’ versus about 40 percent of respondents over the age of 35. These young adults are also more likely to perceive ‘shaming’ comments from colleagues or bosses as being serious rather than said in jest.” — Read more at CNBC.com.
Take More Vacation, Earn More Money?
“Many people have become work martyrs, thinking if they give and give, they will be more successful. But it doesn’t play out that way. … People who took fewer than 10 of their vacation days per year had a 34.6% likelihood of receiving a raise or bonus in a three-year period of time. People who took more than 10 of their vacation days had a 65.4% chance of receiving a raise or bonus.” — Read more at Harvard Business Review.
Stagger Vacations with Your Coworkers
“Think back to the time when your boss took a vacation. Yes, you might have had more work on your plate, but you didn’t have a supervisor around, so you felt more at ease. When you take a vacation around the same time as your boss, you limit your freedom. Make the most of your time and plan time away when others are in the office, both to offset the workload and to stagger absences.” — Read more at Vault.com.
Switch to Vacation Mode on Your Travel Day
“I make it a point to dedicate the travel day before my first full vacation day to mentally preparing myself to have the best vacation ever. This way, when I land, I am already on vacation, as opposed to getting off the plane, checking my email and needing three or four days to fully get into vacation mode. That’s a major a waste of precious time,” [says Sean Kelly, CEO of SnackNation.com.] — Read more at Entrepreneur.
A Little Work Can Save a Lot of Stress
“It’s critical that you not attempt to attend every conference call or respond to every email while you’re away. However, this does not mean that you must completely unplug, only to feel immediately overwhelmed when you return to the office and encounter a deluge of problems, as well as activities that have ground to a halt without your input. Schedule some set time to check in with work each day so that you’re aware of what’s occurring and won’t be blindsided on your return.” — Read more at Tech Republic.
So let’s hear it! What are your vacation plans as summer winds down? What strategies have you learned to maximize your time off? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
Lindsey Pollak is the leading voice on millennials in the workplace, trusted by global companies, universities, the world’s top media outlets — and, most importantly, by millennials themselves. A New York Times bestselling author, Lindsey began her career as a dorm RA in college and has been mentoring millennials — and explaining them to other generations — ever since. Her keynote speeches have audiences so engaged that, in the words of one attendee, “I didn’t check my phone once!” Contact Lindsey to discuss a speaking engagement for your organization.