Work Hard, Play Hard? The American Struggle to Unplug on Vacation
With technology and devices enhancing our personal and professional lives, we’ve become so accustomed to the new always-on mentality, that it can be challenging for many to unplug, even on vacation.
The landscape and expectations of work have changed considerably with the new-found ability to be accessible 24/7/365. That, coupled with our new device and social media dependency, make completely off-the-grid and unplugged days few and far between for many.
The old work hard, play hard mentality seems to be quickly slipping away. Despite the fact that American workers are given the lowest number of paid vacation days per year, averaging 17 compared to Europe’s 28 days a year, many don’t even take advantage of all or any of the days they are given. According to Expedia’s 10th Annual Vacation Deprivation study, 37% of workers said they will not take all of their vacation days this year. And, even more shocking, 41% reported not taking any of their earned vacation days in 2014.
And, for those who do take vacations, 59% of Americans claim to work while they are on vacation, quickly becoming a new cultural norm. Many claim to check emails and voicemails as to avoid coming back to a full inbox or even more work when they return. In fact, A recently survey released by Expedia.com showed that 55 percent of workers come back from time-off without feeling rejuvenated, while many struggle to cope with work-related stress while they're away.
Workplace experts say it's fine to work hard, as long as workers set boundaries for themselves and balance work with the other parts of their lives.
With the summer in full swing, be sure to take the time for your own much-needed vacation and unplug, it’s good for productivity, creativity, your relationships, and most of all, your health.
Here are just 10 reasons we should all unplug and take a real vacation!
1. Recharge- everyone needs a break from work and the everyday stresses of life
2. Boost your creativity- the most creative ideas come from taking a step back
3. Set an example for your team– show that work and life should and can be a balance
4. Nurture relationships- spend time with those who matter most
5. Make new memories- memories, especially vacation memories last a lifetime
6. Improve your job performance- a vacation will boost your morale and improve your productivity
7. Relieve stress- sleep in, take naps, let your mind rest
8. Gain new perspective and life experiences- the more life experiences and exploration, the better your professional and personal self will be
9. Enjoy life- why work so hard if you’re not going to enjoy life?
10. Stay healthy- improve your mental and physical health, stress levels and mood