Taking Lessons from Europe on Vacation
The average Italian worker has 42 days of vacation a year. The French have 37, 35 for Germans, and British workers get 28. This is compared to the average 14 days of rest and relaxation awarded American workers. According to reports from the Sioux City Journal (Iowa), some businesses feel that taking more vacation time cuts into productivity, when in reality, it might mean the complete opposite.
According to Joe Robinson, author and founder of the Work to Live Campaign, "The evidence shows that time off is not the enemy of productivity; to the contrary, it's the engine. U.S. companies that have implemented a three-week vacation policy have seen their profits and productivity soar." One Cincinnati-based janitorial service, for example, saw an increase in 15 percent when it changed its 468 employees over to the three-week policy a few years ago. The owner of this company believes the switch in vacation policy is directly responsible for the improvement.
Robinson continues, "Before the change, the company had a high turnover rate and chronic overtime; after the new vacation policy went into effect, morale went sky-high, and so did productivity, which solved both the turnover and overtime problems.”
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