Many workers aren’t using their vacation days

Employees admitted they feel guilty taking days off

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A little more than two months left of 2014, and if a lot of people still have unused vacation days.

There’s nothing like clocking out of work on your last day before a week of time off, but for more and more Americans, that blissful moment is just something they’re dreaming about. When it comes down to it, they can’t tear themselves away for their desks.

David Sharpe of Suffield, Conn. said, “A lot going on with work; a lot of responsibility. I have a strong work ethic so it’s hard to take the time off. I want to make sure everything is running effectively and efficiently.”

According to Oxford Economics, American workers are only using about 77% of their paid vacation days. That may not sound bad, but by not taking advantage to those remaining days you’re essentially working for free for about a week every year.

You’re not the only one who benefits from a little R&R. Your boss does too. Studies show workers who use more vacation days earn better performance reviews and are more productive. They’re also more likely to stay with the company longer.

Employees admitted to 22News they feel guilty taking days off, but it’s crucial to recharge. James Russell of Belchertown said, “It doesn’t go away when I’m on vacation it’s still there. It does pile up. You have to disconnect your smartphones and try to just stay away from it for a week.”

The United States is one of a handful of countries that doesn’t mandate any paid vacation days. Workers in Puerto Rico can earn up to three weeks of paid time off every year.

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