Why don’t Americans take more time off?

Fortune

No doubt about it, Europeans think we’re crazy. Compared to people living in France, Germany, and Scandinavia, who routinely take as much as six weeks off annually, U.S. employees typically leave about 429 million paid vacation days on the table every year.

It’s a little odd when you consider that, according to a new survey by staffing firm The Creative Group, about 40% of executives think employees would be more productive if they took more vacations, while only 9% think productivity would “decrease significantly.” Yet among the same senior managers, 72% say that, if their companies offered unlimited vacation days, they wouldn’t use any more than they already do. More than half (56%) of employees say they wouldn’t, either.

Anyone who has ever come back from the beach to an overloaded inbox can attest that it’s the opposite of relaxing. “The fact is, the work still has to get done,”…

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