The Hidden Dangers of Not Taking Your Vacation Days

The Hidden Dangers of Not Taking Your Vacation Days

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For many Americans, working without vacation time has become routine. But even when employees have paid for their time off, they often find it difficult to pull the trigger and get away from work. Why the blame?

A decision not to use vacation days can be one that an employee deeply regrets. Depending on their career, American workers often do not receive compensation for unused PTO days when they change jobs. Instead of using up the paid time off that was granted to them as a hiring benefit, employees often have to give up those unused days without showing anything.

In 2018, Americans reportedly left 768 million days of paid vacation time unused, with 55% percent of Americans not using all of their paid vacation time, according to the US Travel Association.

Related: A Work-Life Balance Will Help You Retain Employees

The economic costs of not taking holidays

There are also economic costs for people who do not take their vacation. If employees don’t use their vacation days to travel, for example, that’s money that isn’t spent on the economy (hotels, restaurants, entertainment, etc.). Instead of spending money to drive economic growth elsewhere (or in their communities), employees who don’t use their vacation time essentially give that money back to their employers in the form of unused vacation time.

Lack of vacation time can lead to serious health risks

Taking a vacation isn’t just a break from work – it’s an opportunity for employees to invest in their well-being. The health benefits of taking time for self-care, personal and family vacations or simply a chance to step out of the daily grind to refresh the body and mind cannot be overlooked.

Some of the health side effects of not taking a vacation can be surprising. Working too hard without a vacation can lead to sleep deprivation – a common cause of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, depression, decreased immunity and more. Most alarmingly, overexertion can lead to stroke, according to a 2015 study.

Related: 3 Ways Employee Vacations Increase a Company’s Productivity

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