You might call this cheating, but I’m going to post parts of this article from CNN.com today. This shows exactly what is wrong with the system we are working under right now.
The engineer who is the main example in the article is 59 years old, but he only takes a handful of vacation days a year. And when he does, he never really unplugs, he is always on call. Unfortunately, this is how it is for most Americans.
I never understood why taking some European practices (espeically the ones that lead to higher happiness and quality of life levels) was so horrible. I, for one, would not complain if companies were mandated to give four weeks vacation. Bring it on!
If what is written below describes your life, and you aren’t happy with it, try to find some way to change it. Try a MicroAdventure, go camping, take a bunch of long weekends over the summer, something, anything to decompress for a bit, you deserve it.
And now, CNN.com:
Why is America the ‘no-vacation nation’?
By A. Pawlowski, CNN
May 23, 2011 8:46 a.m. EDT
Germany is among more than two dozen industrialized countries — from Australia to Slovenia to Japan — that require employers to offer four weeks or more of paid vacation to their workers, according to a 2009 study by the human resources consulting company Mercer.
Finland, Brazil and France are the champs, guaranteeing six weeks of time off.
But employers in the United States are not obligated under federal law to offer any paid vacation, so about a quarter of all American workers don’t have access to it, government figures show.
That makes the U.S. the only advanced nation in the world that doesn’t guarantee its workers annual leave, according to a report titled “No-Vacation Nation” by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a liberal policy group.
This just does not sit well with me, I can’t believe that a full 25% of Americans don’t get any vacation at all!
Most U.S. companies, of course, do provide vacation as a way to attract and retain workers.
But the fear of layoffs and the ever-faster pace of work mean many Americans are reluctant to be absent from the office — anxious that they might look like they’re not committed to their job. Or they worry they won’t be able to cope with the backlog of work waiting for them after a vacation.
Then, there’s the way we work.
Working more makes Americans happier than Europeans, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Happiness Studies. That may be because Americans believe more than Europeans do that hard work is associated with success, wrote Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn, the study’s author and an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Dallas.
“Americans maximize their… [happiness] by working, and Europeans maximize their [happiness] through leisure,” he found.
So despite research documenting the health and productivity benefits of taking time off, a long vacation can be undesirable, scary, unrealistic or just plain impossible for many U.S. workers.
What do you think? Have you experienced this before, I certainly have, and for me it was a deal breaker. Are you taking steps to change this, or is this just a way of life for your workplace?