Why Americans Are Bad at Taking Time Off
How they can get better at it
Originally appeared in The Washington Post on April 7, 2022
After “Hot Vax Summer” was interrupted by the dawn of the delta variant, and the winter holidays were overshadowed by omicron, this year’s spring travel season promises to be busier than ever. (BA.2? Bah.) Americans seem determined to make up for lost vacation time and really get away from it all.
But really getting away from work is a challenge for many U.S. employees. Workplace adviser Alison Green, creator of AskAManager.org, shared on Twitter a comment from a reader who said the only way to keep their office from contacting them on vacation was to lie about camping off the grid. That comment kicked off a thread of workers discussing how they regularly take — or claim to take — vacations where it’s impossible, difficult or extremely expensive for work to contact them, such as cruise ships and international excursions.
Why lie? some asked. Why not just refuse to answer the phone or respond to emails?
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