How much are our vacation days worth?
Apparently so little that we're willing to throw away $34.3 billion worth of them.
What keeps us from doing the oh-so-hard task of receiving a paycheck for taking a break? Mostly, lack of planning and fear that end-of-year travel will be too expensive to warrant using our remaining vacation days.
On average, we'll surrender two out of our allotted 14 days. Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics' estimated average annual salary of $39,416, that time is worth $34.3 billion.
Interestingly, workers in the U.K., France, Spain and Brazil tend to use every single one of their allotted days ... and they get an average of 25-30, depending on the country. But Americans aren't alone: Our work ethos is shared by Asian countries such as Japan, where surveyed workers use an average of five out of their eleven days off. As you can see, out of the 20 countries surveyed, only South Korea and Japan have workers who take fewer days than we do.
How Much Will You Give Away?
We know how easy it is to work every workday every week every year. (That's 260 days a year, but who's counting?) There's always something that needs doing at the office: a project, a meeting, an obligation. (Speaking of: Are you a workaholic, or are you overworked?)
But remember that company-sanctioned vacation time is part of your salary, and in not taking it, you're giving it back to the company. As much as you might love your job, your part in a $34.3 billion gift is a little overboard. And if you really do love your coworkers, we have some gift ideas of our own.
Time away from the office is important for your sanity, health and relationships (find out why here), so go on: Leave.
... Are you still here? Then you must be looking for our free Build Your Career Bootcamp, which will help you learn to navigate career transitions and excel on the job in only ten days. Build away!