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The Importance of Paid Time Off

Posted on in Employee Handbooks and Policies

Arlington Heights business law attorneyMost people agree that taking an occasional vacation from work is good for your stress levels and mental health. Hardworking employees need time off to recharge once in a while. However, a new study shows that employees in at least two major cities are working more than ever without taking paid time off. In fact, approximately 64 percent of employees in the area said they do not choose to use their paid time off. This leaves a whopping 12.8 million unused days.

Employees Avoid Taking Time Off for Several Reasons

This information comes from a study conducted by Project Time Off, an organization that promotes leisure, travel, and relaxation. Researchers found that San Francisco and Oakland are the second most overworked cities in the country. Only Washington D.C employees work more days a year. The study surveyed over 7,000 working Americans about their work habits and vacation days.

According to the survey, San Francisco and Oakland residents avoid taking time off because their workload does not allow it. Some are even fearful of leaving the office. The survey showed that many employees avoid taking personal time off because they want to impress their employers with their dedication to their job.

Katie Denis, lead researcher of the study, says that many people are worried that if they take time off, they might be let go or replaced. Dennis explains, “We really see a lot of anxiety about job stability. It’s driven by (the idea that) ‘I need to make sure people understand I’m valuable, not replaceable and dedicated.’”

Not Taking Time Off Can Negatively Affect Work Performance

Interestingly, the data shows that those employees who take fewer than ten days of paid time off are less likely to receive a raise or bonus than those who took more time off. Mary Smith, human resources director for EPIC Brokers, has a theory as to why. She believes that employees who do not take their paid time off become overstressed, which leads to a loss of productivity and a decrease in the quality of the employees’ work. Employees become unhappy and unmotivated. This can lead to higher turnover costs.

Rich Fuerstenberg, a senior partner at Mercer, a New-York based human resources consulting firm, disagrees. He says that employees saving their paid time off may be a good thing for companies, at least in the short term. Over the long term, however, he agrees that burnout is likely, leaving employers to figure out ways to increase productivity again.

Managing Your Employees’ Time Off

It is important to the health of your company to have happy employees whose personal needs are being met by your corporate policies. If you need help creating reasonable paid time off programs or have questions about implementing a new plan, contact an Arlington Heights business law attorney. Call A. Traub & Associates for a confidential consultation today.



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