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Greg Peck: Do you take all your vacation time?

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Greg Peck
July 9, 2014

A new survey suggests 39 percent of American workers won't use all the paid vacation time they have coming this year. Don't count me among them. I've always taken all of mine.

I don't understand this phenomena. Neither does retired Monsignor Raymond Kertz. During his sermon Sunday while filling in at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Janesville, Kertz referred to that survey, by the staffing firm Robert Half. Kertz suggested we all need time to relax, reflect and recharge our batteries. Some of that involves getting away from our electronic gadgetry.

Given our need to be constantly “hooked up,” another survey perhaps shouldn't be so surprising. As the Los Angeles Times reported in a story the Gazette printed Sunday, college students were asked to spend a few minutes alone with their thoughts—no cellphones, books or other distractions. Half were so uncomfortable and so disliked the experience that they voluntarily subjected themselves to electrical stings.

Back to the survey on vacations. The top reason employees gave for skipping vacation time was to save it for next year. Still, 30 percent said they had too much work to do. Another 3 percent said managers frown on employees taking accrued vacation time.

Robert Half, however, told Washington Business Journal reporter Jeff Clabaugh that employees who skip vacation time risk more than burnout.

“It also erodes creativity, since stepping out of your routine frequently sparks innovation,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half. “Fresh perspective is useful in just about any profession.”

After listening to his sermon, I'm confident that Monsignor Kertz would concur.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.



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