It is known that U.S. workers are not taking all of their earned vacation days. In fact, more than half of American workers—55 percent—left vacation days unused in 2015, resulting in a total of 658 million unused vacation days across America! This trend of not using all vacation days has been going on since the early 2000s, and is getting worse every year! If the workers are not willing to change, maybe its time their jobs force change.
Offering paid vacation simply isn’t working, employees still fear they will be judged by other coworkers for taking time off or just simply fall behind on their work. Because of the health benefits associated with vacations, businesses feel the need to get their employees to vacation. Since offering a paid vacation is not enough, companies are now beginning to offer ‘paid, paid vacations.’
One company doing so is the marketing and advertising company SteelHouse. Their CEO, Mark Douglas came up with a plan where the company will pay their employees $2,000 a year, through reimbursements, to go wherever they want. He told Business Insider about the success of this plan, citing that of the 250 people in his company only five people did not use all of their vacation days! In addition to more people using their vacation days, Douglas finds his employees returning from vacation ‘recharged and more productive.’
SteelHouse is not the only company offering paid, paid vacations. BambooHR, a software company based out of Lindon, Utah offers a similar deal. BambooHR offers to pay each of its 200 employees $2,000 towards their vacation. This money can be spent on things like hotels, transportation, food and other vacation necessities. In addition to seeing his workers become more productive, CEO Ben Peterson says “We feel very strongly that personal life doesn’t exist to support work life, but vice versa.” Peterson and BambooHR are creating a work place where it becomes easier to enjoy your personal life through vacations and unplugging from work-life.
When talking about paid time off, Peterson says that it’s “kind of a catch 22. You have it. But then, it’s often looked down upon if you take it. Studies show people actually take less time off when they have unlimited PTO than when they actually have a policy.”
Because of this universal feeling from workers, paid, paid vacations may become more popular among businesses. In fact there are a growing number of companies that are offering this service in the hopes that their employees can unplug and reap the benefits from a vacation.