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Why Don't Americans Take More Time Off?

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This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by Fortune and questions why Americans do not take more time off from work.

The American workforce leaves approximately 429 million paid vacation days on the table every single year. This begs the question – why do Americans feel that they cannot take time off?

This is paid time off that employees deserve and have worked hard for – so why do we collectively feel so guilty taking the time off? According to a 2015 study by The Creative Group, 40% of executives believe employees would be more effective if they took more of their vacation days with only 9% believing there would be a decrease in productivity in their absence.

One of the leading reasons Americans abstain from taking their much needed vacation days is the fear of returning to thousands of emails and unhappy clients or coworkers. This is an ill-conceived notion. Your coworkers, boss and clients all understand your need to take time off and recharge, because it benefits the company as a whole.

It is important for managers and organizational leaders to emphasize the importance of taking these much needed breaks for the overall health and effectiveness of their employees. The best way to accomplish this? Lead by example. Take all your vacation days and come back refreshed and your team will follow your lead.

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