Why Aren’t We Taking Vacations?

Help your employees to take vacation time.

Nearly half of Americans aren’t taking all of their vacation.

The reasons for it include:

  • Increased Stress
  • Pressure From Management
  • Technology
  • Fear Of Losing Job

That all makes sense.

Back in prior generations it was seen as a sign of affluence to be able to vacation. And in the 1950s and onward that became a pride of the middle class.

Vacations were something you looked forward to, planned for and definitely used up when the time came.

Now I’m sure it wasn’t entirely ideal in all situations, but the current state definitely seems to have issues.

Let’s look at each of the reasons we’re not taking vacations from the perspective of a business owner or manager and why it’s important for employees to have vacation time.

Increased Stress

There are a few sides to this one.

One side is that when you leave work the work you normally do won’t get done and you may come back to a bigger work load. You may have to work extra to get ahead. You may be okay doing more once you’re back. You may have to find others to take on the work. Or if you’re doing projects you may want to account for vacation in the delivery timeline.

Another side is the planning of vacations. There are lots of great apps and such that help plan vacation, but it can still be daunting. From a business owner standpoint it might be worthwhile to offer a service that helps employees plan vacations.

There was a company that I know that used to own a campground and they’d encourage employees to use it. It made it easy for employees to have something to do, which can take stress away from having to find something.

Pressure From Management

This is a big one today. It’s probably always existed, but it’s a big one today. Maybe the company is lagging in sales and when a salesperson wants to take their vacation it’s puts more stress on the numbers.

Instead of pressuring the person to stay, maybe just what they need is a vacation. Time to refresh and be alone with their thoughts so they can come back ready to get out and bring in more customers.


Smartphones have added a lot to our lives, but now we’re always connected. It’s difficult to unplug when you can check your work email anytime you want.

There really aren’t any tricks for getting around this one. You just have to either be okay staying connected or find ways to avoid checking email, messages, etc. while you’re on vacation.

It’s not easy. It’s like trying to record a football game and watching the next day. It’s nearly impossible to avoid all media so you don’t see the final score. But it can be done.

That’s the mentality it takes to enjoy a vacation.

Fear Of Losing Job

This one goes back to the pressure from the boss.

The fear is that if you leave and someone else takes over your work for a week or whatever that your boss will see that you’re not really needed.

But the reality is that if you’re good at your job your boss isn’t going to want you to leave. They may be fine for a week or so, but beyond that they know they need you. They want you. They don’t want to have to continually overwork others or take the time to find and train someone new.

It’s not good to get too complacent at work, but if your employer doesn’t want you after a week vacation it probably isn’t a good fit anyway. There are other options out there.

Why Vacation Is Needed

There are studies showing positive correlation between vacation time and long-term health. Vacations can also improve brain function so that when employees are at work and have vacationed they perform better.

It’s a win-win for boss and employee when people take vacations. Obviously not vacationing all the time, but more than we are right now.

Final Thought

As the boss it’s important to see the benefits of vacation. As the employee it’s also important to see the benefits. Then it’s important for both parties to see the tendencies in today’s world. The reasons above are why vacations don’t occur. Bosses need to recognize that pressure they can put on employees. Especially with technology.

Did you enjoy this article? Get new articles weekly.