PAID TIME OFF
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Paid time off is a publicity stunt. Most companies know that their best employees aren't going to take advantage of it. And by leaving the policy open and "up to the employee" managers are now creating a different kind of competitive environment, one that encourages taking less time off, rather than more.
This October, it is time we recognize the intersection of domestic violence and work-life issues. An effective national policy on domestic violence must understand the impact this epidemic has on the workplace, including the problems for both employees and employers, some of which result from the structure of the workplace itself.
An important new study released this morning by Travel Effect found that 40 percent of American workers will leave paid vacation days unused. The four reasons cited the most are the dread of returning from a vacation to piles of work (40 percent), the belief that no one will be able to step in and do their job for them while they're gone (35 percent), not being able to afford it (33 percent) and the fear of being seen as replaceable (22 percent). "Americans suffer from a work martyr complex," said Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. "In part, it's because 'busyness' is something we wear as a badge of honor." Clearly, we need to work harder about working smarter -- by not working all the time. The "work martyr" complex needs to go the way of the Dictaphone, typewriter and green eyeshades as relics of the workplace of the past (okay, I like typewriters, but you get the idea).