Vacations don't actually make workers happier
That's good news for hardworking Americans, who get no guaranteed paid breaks, unlike Europeans.
Visit Europe in August and it can seem as if the entire continent is on vacation. It's no wonder, given the mandatory time off workers get there, with the French guaranteed a whopping 30 days.
While Europeans' generous vacations can inspire either longing or ridicule in Americans, it's worth noting that there's no apparent correlation between paid vacations and worker satisfaction.
Italian workers, for instance, score lower than U.S. employees in satisfaction, yet they are given 20 paid vacation days per year, on top of 11 paid holidays, the Atlantic reports, citing research from Mercer and a worker satisfaction survey from Randstad.
The Netherlands, meanwhile, scores highest on worker satisfaction, yet it resides in the middle of the pack when it comes to European vacation time, the piece notes.
What explains the discrepancy? Dutch workers enjoy higher incomes than other European workers and have short work schedules. On top of that, they receive something called vakantiegeld (literally, vacation money) before taking a summer break.
Why do American workers score high on satisfaction while lacking in guaranteed vacation? The reason might be simply that U.S. workers don't usually get firsthand experience with how Europeans live. Because most of us don't often witness French workers languishing on sandy beaches during August, it's not actually rubbed in our faces.
Satisfaction with vacation time scored relatively high in a 2012 survey of U.S. workers from Gallup. Nearly three-quarters of American workers said they were either completely or somewhat satisfied with the amount of vacation time they received.
So what bugs American workers? On-the-job stress and income, Gallup found.
Even when Americans get vacation time, they don't always take it. About 57% of U.S. workers had unused vacation time at the end of 2011, CNNMoney reports, using data from Harris Interactive.
Workers cited too much work or the fact that they didn't have enough money to travel. And when Americans do take a vacation, they are often still tied to work via smartphones or laptops.
Given that the concept of a vacation is increasingly foreign to the "no-vacation nation," Americans are apparently instead judging work satisfaction on issues like pay and flexible hours instead.
I think Aimee needs a vacation.
This is a total crock.
Vacations give you a mental break from your daily routine, and in many instances a fresh perspective on your business.
Money is not the root of all happiness----and what this story doesn't say is that greater income stability and flexible hours lead to the ability to take time off.
My company makes us take at least 40 hours consecutive time off if we are full time... and I think all companies should follow suit. It is good for both the employer and employee.
Also, if you are doing quality work, you shouldn't have to worry about being replaced in a week.
I've been to Europe, they have the work life balance figured out. We could learn a few things.
Everyday is like being on vacation for me! I love my job!
.....my boss knows my posting name.
We are so stressed by our employers, we are just trying to hang onto our jobs. Lying about work life balance is par for the course from upper management. Making you feel guilty if you take a day off is more like it . Implying that your job is in jeopardy is also a daily occurrence if you take time off. Yhat is why we go in sick, don't use our vacation days and give up our personal life!
ARE you freaking kidding me!. Who took this survey? Were they taken at places of employment. Because we ALL LIE on those stupid surveys given by our companies!!! A prime an example is when you are told they are anonymous, and you see someone called in the office for how they answered their survey!
Aimee has most likely never set foot out of the US as well as her sources. They point to Italy without knowing the people, (I have family there) the worker's attitude there is not influenced by paid time off but rather the political stability, or rather the lack of stability. The study doesn't mention
Germany, Switzerland, England, Austria, Hungry, Sweden, Norway or a dozen other states that have stable politics and similar economic models to the US. It's like having a bag of pinto beans that has 3 white beans mixed in, someone reaches into the bag and pulls out a white bean and proudly states that the bag of beans is a bag of white beans.
And most don't get secondhand experience either: Americans don't spend any time learning about other countries - but if you ask them they know it all!
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