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Posted: Wednesday, 12 March 2014 6:56AM

Study: Vacation time improves worker productivity

A new study recently completed by Oxford Economics finds that not taking vacation time is a bad idea, as it harms productivity and the economy.

And, a local business expert strongly agrees.

"No doubt about it," says Tulane A.B. Freeman Business professor Mark Rosa.

And, he says it's the smart companies that provide their employees paid time off for those vacations.

"It's usually companies that have enough sophistication to do so...the ones that are sophisticated enough, and the infrastructure is large enough that they have a policy where it's vacation paid, holidays paid...those types of things...it certainly is worth it."

But, according to the Oxford study, more than forty percent of American workers who received paid time off did not take all of their allotted time last year, despite the obvious personal benefits.
Americans left an average of 3.2 paid time off days unused in 2013, totaling 429 million unused days for U.S. workers.

And four in ten American workers said their employer supported time off, but their heavy workload kept them from using their earned days.

"I think people say 'You know what? I'm not going to chance it. I'm going to work as much as I can," Rosa says. "Deadlines are approaching, there's a lot of things going on, there's no time to be out of the office."
According to the study, most managers recognize the benefits taking time off from work provide to employees: higher productivity, greater employee retention, and significant health benefits.

"I think people who their take time off benefit the company by better morale," Rosa says."They're rested employees when they come back, and it helps them psychologically. They come back refreshed, and I think that bodes well. I think it's a good employee benefit....one that the company and the employee can enjoy."

But nearly 34 percent of employees surveyed in the Oxford study indicated that their employer neither encouraged nor discouraged leave, and 17 percent of managers considered employees who take all of their leave to be less dedicated, according to the survey's findings.
But, Rosa says leaving earned days on the table harms, not helps, employers by creating a less productive and less loyal employee.

"I think now, more than ever, it's very healthy to have some time off and to break up the work year at particular intervals."

"Our biggest resource, usually, in a company is the human resource," says Rosa. "So, to treat that well is well for the company to do."

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Topics : Labor
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Locations : Oxford
People : Mark Rosa
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