The No Vacation Nation

According to two recent reports, one from the U.S. Bureau
of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the other from the Center
for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), if you work in
the United States, it’s becoming less likely that you will
work for a company that provides paid vacation time.

A new report from the BLS shows that over the past 20
years, fewer workers were provided with paid vacations,
while companies have increasingly provided workers with
access to sick leave, personal leave, and family leave.

According to the BLS report, in 2012 the percentage of
private sector employees receiving paid vacation benefits
was 77%, down from 82% in 1992-93. For part-time workers
the news was equally bad. Only 35% received paid vacation
time in 2012, down from 40% in 1992-93.

Are we becoming the “no-vacation nation?” That’s the
title of a May 2013 study by the CEPR, which says the
United States is the only one of 21 “rich” countries that
doesn’t require companies to provide vacation time.

What makes the situation worse for many workers is growing
evidence that many people don’t leave the office behind
when they do manage to take time off.

According to a 2013 survey conducted by TeamViewer, 69% of
Americans responding to the survey said they would bring a
“work-capable device” with them on vacation, while 83%
said that having to work during vacation “is becoming more
common in America.”

HR POINTER: The “interesting” part of the BLS report noted
that “things may not be as bad as employees fear.” The
report went on to say that workers may not be enjoying as
much leisure time as they have in the past, but they are
getting more paid days off in the form of sick leave and
family leave.

We are not sure how others are reading this news, but it
strikes us as not that positive after all. defines vacation as a period of suspension
of work, study, or other activity usually used for rest,
recreation, or travel.

The old concept of vacation was to get away, completely
free yourself of work activities, and recharge your
batteries. A statistic from “days of old,” noted that it
takes a person about 8 to 10 days to completely relax and
have that battery-recharging effect. As such, the idea of
the 2-week vacation was very popular at one time.

Now, it seems that the above information is saying that
people are getting more time away from work only to spend
more time working while away.

With all this “away time” from work, it’s seems ironic
that the BLS and CEPR are congratulating companies for
offering more sick time to employees. We wonder if there
is a connection here:)

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