Employees are poisoned by vacation time, so it should be extremely limited. It is impossible to live a balanced life.
My employees forget how great work is. They weasel out of it by taking time off. That, and they are ungrateful for how much vacation they get. My teacher used to say, “I don’t give grades — you earn them.” The same goes for vacations.
Ways to “Earn” Time Off
- Work extra hours each week
- Skip lunches
- Never miss my meetings
- Take the blame when a project has problems
- Clean my house
People want time off, but they don’t realize how bad too much of it is. When employees spend too much time with their families, they forget all about the most important things in life: increasing dependence on work, earning the almighty wages, arbitrary deadlines, hundreds of policies, mountains of paperwork, and how to please people — specifically myself. Workers nowadays feel we should lead balanced lives, which is a complete myth. Here is a recent example:
An interviewee asked me about vacation time. I told her two weeks.
She said, “Excuse me, did you say your vacation policy is too weak?”
She must have hoped I had mocked my own policy. I responded firmly, “Ten days.” How sad! She was ungrateful for all the time I pay people to do nothing! I then explained she would get one extra day if you are lucky enough to work here five years.
Employees are deceitfully productive after vacation because it changes their perspective about work. I don’t like it one bit! They are unhealthily excited the day they return from vacation, because they are distracted by and giddy about how great a time their family had skiing in the mountains or playing on the beach. If it were up to me, I wouldn’t offer any vacation and people wouldn’t expect it. Ideally, we would be grateful and satisfied and fulfilled just by coming into work each day, just like one big, org-charted, workaholic family.
W. Albert Jameson, IV
Work can be the priority, but only temporarily. If one facet of life takes priority too long or too often, the lack of balance damages people and relationships. Team members need to enjoy ample time away from work so they come back energized and refreshed!