All Hail the Vacation Revolution!

Posted on: Thursday, January 8th, 2015
Posted in: HR FYI, Blog | Leave a comment

The fat cat is out of the bag: Americans’ vacation rates have hit sick, historic lows, and the topic has gone viral like the flu at the office. Dozens of sites have picked up on the story, and screen-starers have are taking notice. Could this—finally—suggest a tipping point in our mass, stubborn refusal to take time off?

The new study, by Skift (of course), found that nearly 42% of our workers took not one day off last year. Trending on the low end: Women and younger workers. Looking a bit better: Men, suburbanites, Westerners, and those with higher incomes.

Contrarian thinking has gotten lots of people rich; just ask Mr. Buffett. So this vakay maven wonders if we’ve hit bottom. Oil’s <$50 per barrel right now. You think it will stay there forever? You think Americans will refuse to take time off forever—especially while the economy has improved and unemployment is low?

Call me an optimist. (!) And never mind that just last March this site proclaimed “Vacations Are A Waste of Time!”  Things change. Workers are giving $52 billion of “free” work back to their employers—while suffering from countless syndromes that a vacation might heal.

5 reasons the vacation revolution has begun

  • We need the exercise and movement that a getaway can provide. 

Both will help us fight epidemics like diabetes, obesity, bad backs, and lack of sand on the buttocks.


  • Mother Nature calls. 

These days, work means mostly sitting at a computer. Some still toil on assembly lines. Others flip burgers or change sheets (and often get no PTO). Prescription: Find several days to get outside of that discomfort zone!


  • Folks are sick of (and at) work. 

Another disturbing trend: Presenteeism. People are going to work sick (which we’ve commented on before)— sometimes even doing daring, dangerous jobs. Got the bug? Stay away. We’ll all feel better. (NOTE: If this dude is feeling dizzy, he should def lay low.)


  • We’ve got Euro-envy (for a change)

Say what you want about the chronic Euro economic meltdowns and high unemployment rates. But 30 days off is the norm there. Here, only 15% take more than 20 days. Take 20 days in France, and they’d send you to recovery! We still have things to learn from other lands. Like, R&R (and how to party on the back of a truck).


  • Vacation makes you unplug.

Another alarming trend: people working on vacation (and all the time everywhere). Still, odds at least improve that when you’re on the road, you’ll go on the wagon from digital addiction. Maybe you’ll even, like, dress in period costume and do interpretive dance!


Turn off, tune in, and BreakAway!

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