Purcell: Americans in need of a vacation (column) – Colorado News

Purcell: Americans in need of a vacation (column) – Colorado News

Boy, I could use a vacation about now — like millions of other hardworking Americans.

According to a recent study by the U.S. Travel Association’s Project Time Off, 54 percent of American employees ended 2016 with unused time off — a total of about 662 million unused vacation days.

Whereas our friends in Europe enjoy up to six weeks off every year, Americans, after three years of working at a job, are lucky to average 10 days of vacation.

That’s if you can call what we do vacationing. When we finally do take time off, we usually take it piecemeal; we take one day here, one day there, and we hardly ever enjoy an actual “break.”

Whereas our friends in Europe enjoy up to six weeks off every year, Americans, after three years of working at a job, are lucky to average 10 days of vacation.That’s if you can call what we do vacationing.

Even if we do take a week at the beach, for instance, we bring our computers and smartphones with us. We check our email obsessively, dial into phone conferences and keep our noggin in real-time connection to the stresses and agitations of the workplace no matter where our vacationing bodies may be.

Our work habits have changed over the past few decades. We’re terrified of losing our jobs, you see, so we work harder. We feel guilt if we’re the first to leave the office or the only one who didn’t work over the weekend — or the only one not to work 60-plus hours a week.

As a result, a “24/7” culture has evolved in which employees feel the need to be accessible to their employers every moment of every day. Our habits may be a contributor to productivity levels that are the envy of the world, though our productivity comes at the…

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