Have you had your summer vacation yet? If so, I bet you left your phone on ‘airplane mode’ in the corner the whole time and didn’t do any work! Just kidding…I bet you checked email daily and felt guilty at least part of the time away. Why do we have such a hard time relaxing?
Statistically, Americans have crummy paid vacation compared to the rest of the world. Some 2017 numbers show minimum mandatory annual holiday entitlement after one year of employment as follows:
Australia 20 days
EU 20 days
South Korea 15 days
Canada 10 days
China 10 days
United States 0 mandatory days, although the average is around 10-14 days but nothing is mandatory.
These numbers don’t even include public holidays, which can be around 10!
Many people don’t even take all the vacation days they’re given! They worry about the huge back-load of work they’ll have to come back to, the office environment discourages using vacation time or makes it difficult, and some people just feel like no one can do their job while they’re gone.
Even when we do go on vacation, most people I know are still checking their emails, doing phone/conference calls, or at least feeling guilty about taking vacation. This isn’t right!
If done properly, vacation can improve our health and well-being, boost company morale, decrease burnout, and even make you a more interesting person! So give yourself and your family a well deserved break.
Prepare the work you’ll leave behind as much as possible before you go. Try to anticipate things that could go wrong that people would need to contact you for. Give those covering for you, as much of a ‘cheat sheet’ as you can. Put your ‘out of office’ reply on and then…go on vacation! Try not to check your email and see how it goes. If people really need to get in touch with you…they will…or they’ll just figure it out or realize it’s not that important.
Finally, what accounting blog post would be complete without a little Alice Cooper?
No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers dirty looks.
Out for summer, out till fall.
Now go out and enjoy yourself!
Jordan Ilderton, CPA