The Data-Driven Case for Vacation

Question of the Week

The Data-Driven Case for Vacation

Happy Labor Day Weekend, all!

Summer is wrapping up, and we are entering the fall. And because of that, people are getting on their last-minute vacations. I just returned from vacation, and I’m a huge proponent of taking time away from your business or your job.

And for those of you who need just a little bit of an extra push to get out of the door, the Harvard Business Review wrote an article using data to back up their hypothesis that without recovery periods, our ability to continue performing at high levels diminishes significantly.

The article features a lot of interesting tidbits, including:

  • The finding was that Americans used to take almost three weeks of vacation a year (20.3 days) in 2000, but they took only 16.2 days of vacation in 2015. Over the past 15 years, Americans have lost nearly a week of vacation.
  • According to the Pew Research Center, nearly half of office-based workers say technology has increased their time working.
  • For the first time in recorded history, more than half of Americans (55%) left vacation days unused, equating to 658 million unused vacation days.
  • By giving up this time off, Americans effectively volunteer hundreds of millions of days of free work for their employers, resulting in $61.4 billion in forfeited benefits.”
  • People who took fewer than ten vacation days per year had a 34.6% likelihood of receiving a raise or bonus in three years. People who took over 10 of their vacation days had a 65.4% chance of receiving a raise or bonus.

The easy conclusion to the article is to stop working for free and go away!


Quote of the Week

“We also found that if you plan ahead, create social connections on the trip, go far from your work, and feel safe, 94% of vacations have a good ROI in terms of your energy and outlook upon returning to work.” – Harvard Business Review


Task of the Week

Check out this article if you need more encouragement that taking time off is good for you. The Review also researched what kinds of vacations create a positive effect, debunking the idea that people who don’t take vacation time get ahead.

I hope you all have a lovely long weekend!