All Work, No Play: Why Americans Are Afraid to Go on Vacation

Mother and father with three children on the beach.If you’re planning a vacation but haven’t told your coworkers or boss yet, you’re not alone.

In fact, withholding vacation plans from your colleagues is all too common. Karen Firestone, CEO of the investment firm Aureus Asset Management, recently wrote in Harvard Business Review that her employees are either reluctant to take time off in general, or are hesitant to share their vacation plans.

And according to a survey by U.S. Travel Association and GfK, approximately 40% of all Americans don’t use up all their annually allotted vacation days.

Vacation days aren’t only enjoyable, but they’re necessary. As Leigh Weingus reports in the Huffington Post, vacationing is actually healthy.

She writes, “studies show that taking time off helps your problem-solving skills and makes you happier.”

So what gives? If vacationing is fun, beneficial, and allowed, why aren’t employees reaping the benefits of their days off?

According to psychologist and professor Michael Leiter, the hesitance has a lot to do with America’s perception of work ethic, and how it would be perceived if they were to take off.

“Fundamentally, what’s going on there is fear,” Leiter told Huffington Post. “People are afraid if they’re not present and they’re not continually churning stuff out that bad things are going to happen.”

And believe it or not, this mentality is much to the chagrin of supervisors, CEOs, and the higher-ups in general. Not giving your employer a decent amount of notice of your planned vacation makes things difficult for the company at large.

“As CEO, I find this frustrating,” said Firestone. “It’s a waste of time to set up a client visit or an internal meeting only to hear from one of the essential participants that he or she will be on vacation”.

The moral of the story is simple here. There are 31 national airports located throughout the United States. Pick one, get the well-needed rest you deserve, and be sure to tell your company in advance.

Your brain and your company alike will thank you.

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