Americans don’t get much vacation time.
For instance, the average employee with five years at a particular company receives about 12 days of paid vacation, compared to the mandatory 20 days for members of the European Union. After living in Europe for six years, I can attest that people take that vacation as well. In fact, our first summer here my husband’s boss announced he was going diving in the Maldives—for four weeks. He didn’t even take his laptop.
Did the department wither without the boss’s leadership? Were there terrible consequences for him when he returned after four weeks of being out of pocket? Absolutely not. Everyone considered it normal behavior. Everyone but us, the Americans.
Why is it that Americans not only don’t have the same amount of vacation as other countries, but we don’t take what we do have? That’s right, according to a recent survey by Korn Ferry, even executives—the bosses—are not taking the vacation their companies have granted them.