The REAL Reasons Employees Don’t Take Advantage of Their Company’s Vacation Policy

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It’s no secret that employees are overworked, but they are also hesitant the use the benefits they are given by their company’s vacation policy.

Why don’t employees use their vacation time? For many reasons, ranging from fear of retaliation to overzealous dedication to the job.

Keep reading to learn more about some of the reasons employees forfeit so much vacation time each year. 

Company Culture

Some companies have developed a culture in which taking a vacation is frowned upon.

Those who forgo their earned vacation time are seen as champions for the company who pick up the slack for workers who are on vacation.

Many companies do not communicate clearly about their vacation policy, leaving employees in the dark and unsure about taking a vacation. If there is a negative vibe about taking vacation, or the higher-ups never take vacation time, other employees won’t either.

Technology

At many companies, being on vacation is not an excuse to be unavailable for company needs.

With most employees having remote access, there is pressure to be available for calls and emails even while on vacation. Management often does this as well, though it might be expected of them.

Failure to lead by example or communicate expectations to all levels of employees leads them to decide taking vacation time isn’t worth it. 

Bad Policies

Some companies simply don’t offer their employees enough time off.

These employees have to ration their vacation time. Time off may be lumped together so they can use it for sick days, personal days, or vacation days.

If employees aren’t given enough time off for personal reasons or illness, they may hoard vacation days to use for these purposes.

Policies that allow unused vacation to roll over year to year also discourage vacation use. 

Overworked and Overwhelmed

The most common reason that employees fail to use their accrued vacation time is because they fear the mountain of work they will return to.

When employees take time off, they can usually expect to return to piles of work waiting for them. Playing catch up can result in working so many extra hours that taking time off for vacation isn’t worth it.

Employers can do a lot to relieve their employees’ stress by helping them prioritize and reducing their workload before and after their vacation. 

Dedication

With layoffs being a fear of many employees, job performance is a top priority.

Many employees choose to forgo vacations in order to appear more dedicated to their jobs. Employees are often concerned about job security and afraid of being seen as replaceable.

They think that by not using vacation, they are proving their worth to their employer.

In reality, taking vacation time has been shown to improve job performance and lead to raises. 

Take Advantage of Your Vacation Policy

If you work for a company that offers you a vacation policy, use it.

Failing to use your vacation is only hurting yourself. Work with your boss to ensure your return goes as smoothly as possible and be sure to truly unplug while you’re away.

To learn more about the benefits of taking vacation time, check out this post.

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