WHAT DOES THE VACATION GIVE US IN RETURN FOR THIS PURE LOVE WE ARE SHOWERING HER WITH?
Do you already have your vacation destination? You made all the reservations, bought a new hat and swimming suit, saved the date?
It’s that time of year (so much more cherished than Christmas) when you feel like 21 all over again.
What are we talking about here? Vacation time, travel, relaxing, healing? In practice – yes, but in theory, we are talking about PTO.
Paid time off or personal time off (PTO) is a policy in some employee handbooks that provides a bank of hours in which the employer pools sick days, vacation days, and personal days that allows employees to use as the need or desire arises.
Simply put, vacation time is time to reset and restart. Or at least – it should be.
“Designed” to help de-stressing working people, leaving them happier (and more productive, of course) than before, PTO also improves general mood of the employee.
In another word: PTO rules!
Unfortunately, not everyone thinks so. Let’s see how different countries have different stands on this issue. For example, who doesn’t support vacations?
In Italy, 61% of employers are not supportive or unsure about the question (we think they are sure, just don’t want to say it), in South Korea that number is 59%, in Denmark 44% and in Argentina 41%.
Now, let’s see who the good bosses are:
Definitely Norway with 86% employers in favor of vacation. The next is Sweden with 84%, then Brazil (83%) and India (76%)!
Such a cool crowd. If you ask me, these are my top 4 travel destination. The first group of countries (apart from the fact that it would be nice to see Buenos Aires and to eat pizza in Naples) – well, not so much.
Ok, now let’s see how long this so needed PTO in some countries is.
I bet you think that living in the Bahamas is like heaven. Well, if you care about your free time, it’s sheer hell. The number of their paid vacation days is only 10. Only 10 days to enjoy whatever the Bahamas have to offer? Just isn’t right.
The same situation is happening in Japan, but this time we get it, right?
In Bhutan and Brunei is even worse as they have just one week per year to reconnect. In Mexico, you don’t even have the entire week – it’s 6 days annually. Some fiesta it is!
In Nauru, there is no paid vacation. Don’t ask.
In States, there is no statutory minimum paid vacation or paid public holidays. It is left to the employers to offer paid vacation. We don’t know the story, but the fact is that many Americans don’t even take their allotted vacation time. On top of that, fewer Americans are going on vacation than in the past. Hey, what is going on over there? Are you people OK?
On the other hand, in Kuwait, every worker is entitled to enjoy a paid annual leave of 30 days! No less! Plus, the worker who completes 2 continuous years in the service of his employer is entitled to a paid leave of 21 days for performing Haj rituals, provided that he should not have previously performed the Haj. It doesn’t end here. Kuwait employees have also 13 paid public holidays.
Usually, PTO is between 14 and 21 days.
And what do people do during those days?
Well, apparently, 35% of them are at the beach, 19% are on some romantic holiday, 12% dedicates this time to the city and only 12% reconnect with nature.
It is of the utmost importance to choose wisely. If planned poorly, a vacation can actually lead to more stress.
There is a new (well, not so new actually, but it’s still fresh) thing now. It is called an unlimited vacation. Its slogan:
Work hard and take time off when you need it!
Sounds like a dream but it’s far from it.
But, here is the basic idea.
Referred to as “endless summer” by some companies, it typically combines vacation, sick and personal days without any set limit.
A boundless time off was a novelty promised by the likes of Netflix, LinkedIn itself and Virgin’s Richard Branson, who said he got the idea from Netflix. Now it is being offered by law firms in London, loan companies in Latvia, recruiters in Berlin and electronics outfits in Taipei.
It is hard to think of another work perk that promises so much and delivers so little — to workers. For companies – it’s a different story. A firm that gives up on fixed paid leave for this open vacation type, can save millions of dollars’ worth of unused leave liabilities that would otherwise be paid to departing employees.
This, and the fact that many employees never even take the vacation, helped many companies to decide and safely offer bottomless holidays. Read what TIMES had to say about this and we’ll go straight from here to vacation benefits – something you can nonchalantly send to your boss. With a body text: Just saying.
1. Obviously, the stress reduction.
When a person is removed (using this word on purpose) from everyday activities and the office environment, which can be a source of stress and frustration, it can significantly help in alleviating job stress.
The effect of this reset lasts longer than a vacation, the positive and contagious enthusiasm can last up to 5 five after days off!
2. Cutting the Risk for Heart Attack
De-stressing and spending free time with loved ones can lower the risk of heart attack by 30% for men and even 50% for women. Forget about taking pills, vitamins and mineral stones – just go and apply for a vacation. A vacation plan a day keeps the doctor away. Literally.
3. Natural High
The excitement of experiencing new things and doing something adventurous will give your brain a treat: a nice little blast of dopamine, the hormone and neurotransmitter that makes you feel good. Really good. Try it.
Whether it’s a hike, snorkel, mountain climb or bungee jumping, just do it and feel free from everyday routine.
4. Vacation improves the workflow
When coming back from the vacation, you will notice that your workflow just got better, faster and more effective, right? There is a reason for it.
When you leave for your days off, you usually designate a colleague to do your part of the job. When preparing and organizing your tasks for that person, you actually do a recapitulation, leaving everything in order and neat. When you come back, that system is waiting for you, too.
Plus, when you are fresh, you’re more productive, and when you are more productive, you’re happier, and when you’re happier, you excel at what you do.
5. Sleeping better
Forget about all those restless nights and disrupted sleep you suffered from before the vacation. By interrupting the habits that disrupt sleep, like working late into the night or watching a black-lit screen before bed, vacation is doing you another huge favor.
So, be fair to your body and soul.
Exercise your right and demand your PTO, rightfully earned and very much needed.
And now, just for fun, take a look at some of the very creative office souvenirs. For those of you who “prefer” staying in the entire summer.
For those of you who think about a vacation the entire year, here is a handy planner tool. Knock yourself out!