Thursday, September 23, 2004

More vacation=happier people

Thursday is here. I know I have written this before but it means that the weekend is just hours away.

Weekends in America are of great importance. They are a miniature vacation. And speaking of vacation, Americans receive far less than our European counterparts. Most countries in Europe find the average amount of paid vacation time for their workers at three weeks or more. I have 16 hours available to me for the rest of the year. Why so little? Chalk part of it up to an accounting error. According to my records, I have forty more than my paycheck shows. I know this but apparently the company cares far less about this. In their eyes, they have forty more hours of semi-productive work from me - they are wrong on that account.

Productivity can also be directly tied to the amount of vacation time employees receive. Many ask why Americans are less productive than their foreign counterparts. The answer is that we work more hours, receive less vacation and therefore work just enough to remain gainfully employed.

We spend hours at work dedicated to our interests because once most leave their jobs, they find themselves going to a more hurried place. Home. They have to chauffeur the kids to numerous places. They have errands to run while dealing with traffic congestion, construction and distance. They arrive home late and often exhausted. Once home they have tasks such as laundry, helping with kids' homework and cooking and cleaning to tend to.

In short, American companies need to offer up more vacation time to their employees. They will be rewarded with a more relaxed, well rested and productive employee in the end.

It can work. Just do it before all the jobs are shipped to India as part of the "world economy".

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