Why You Need Labor Day Now More Than Ever

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Why You Need Labor Day Now More Than Ever

Let’s get down to business about Labor Day…

Here’s why we need this holiday more than we know!

Started in 1882 by Peter Maguire for union members, Labor Day has come to include, and celebrate, all American workers. Taking the first Monday in September as the holiday was supposedly chosen by him out of sheer convenience, falling midway between July 4th and Thanksgiving. It seems Mr. Maguire felt Americans deserved and needed a day off right about then. I’m sure you agree, he couldn’t have been more accurate! But why would we need another day off at the close of summer? Shouldn’t all of us already be rested having taken our vacations, done some travelling and maybe even gotten a chance to hit some white, sandy beaches with palm trees??? You might think that would be the case, but if so, you would be WRONG.
It’s true many of us try to squeeze in some type of summer vacation, but most don’t take enough time off in the summer, or any other part of the year. In fact, 25% took no vacation whatsoever last year and over half the entire workforce left vacation days on the table, and have done so repeatedly. All told, a whopping 705 Million days (1.9 million years worth), go unused each year.
Have vacations become too costly? Too hard with kids? NOPE. In reality, it’s actually work that’s preventing us from taking them. How so when most companies are increasing time off, plus adding work from home options to benefits? An average, employee now earns 23.2 PTO days and uses roughly 17, but only 8 for actual vacation despite the fact that over 80% cite vacationing /travel as an important part of their lives.
One contributing factor to the trend is the surge in companies using a “Paid Time Off” model, instead of slotting days for sick time, vacation, etc. This structure has led to employees using less days for vacation than ever before. With so much time left in PTO banks, why aren’t we using it to relax and recharge?
Truth be told, the bulk of the days end up as sick time—ironically, even more likely because we’re not taking vacations. And, aside from worrying about the unexpected dwindling down of the days, or the rise of child-related activities making a dent in them, there’s a host of other reasons driven from our very own workplace cultures. Analysts boil it all down to something they’re calling, “Work Martyrdom”.
Let’s take a look at these so-called martyrs among us, (according to Project Time Off, the most comprehensive research study on vacation behavior in America.
  • 61% of them did not take their time, feeling it would make them seem less dedicated.
  • 34% believed they simply had too much work to take their time off.
  • 30% said there’s no one else able to do their job while they’re away. 
Making the rise in this martyrdom mentality worse, is the disappearance of the “9 to 5” workplace. The dawn of the internet and the smartphone rapidly transformed all of our companies into 24/7 operations. Think about this for a moment: for those of you who took vacations this year, how many of you went completely work-free during that time? If like most, the answer would be, not very many of you. Some may have even unknowingly taken what’s now being termed a “Workcation”, a developing trend where employees vacation elsewhere, but work a full schedule, remotely.
With “employee engagement” at the top of the ‘What’s Trending in HR list’, is all of this a sign employees are becoming more engaged? Quite the contrary says OC Tanner, a firm for employee recognition and engagement. Their study of 1000 US employees, reveled vacation GOERS are the ones engaged feeling more motivated to contribute, a greater sense of belonging and a stronger commitment to stay for the next year.
Moreover, employees given the support to take vacations are overall happier with both their job and company. Plus, they report being in better health, which enables them bring greater productivity, hence revenue. Maybe that’s why this same group typically reports higher numbers of promotions and bonuses? Because, as it turns out, the martyrs and employers caught up in a “vacation less” culture, are the ones costing companies the most money.
Where do you fall in the spectrum? Have you vacationed, without also working, lately?  Maybe it’s time. Think about what you’re missing, and at what cost, if not… Is it really worth it if both you and your employer are losing, as a result?
The Dubin Group is here to help make sure your work/life balance is harmonious. Contact us anytime to find you the perfect temporary employee to keep your office humming while you take that much-deserved vacation!

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