As the firm’s research and marketing director, I spend quite a bit of time finding topics for social-media discussions and generally researching on the Internet. One of the sources I’ve listened to for years on my personal time is the Marketplace suite of shows, first on the radio, now with the convenience of podcasts.
They bill themselves as “business and economic news” and frequently cover what I would consider workers’ issues like safety, employment trends, and benefits, usually resulting in very balanced, informative reporting.
As the end-of-summer activities put a focus on children returning to school, many people are wrapping up their vacations for the year. But others don’t take summer vacations, as they are either saving up their time for something else, don’t have the luxury of those kinds of benefits, or just don’t take advantage of the benefits offered.
In today’s blog post, I challenge you to think about how you use any benefits that are available. If you have the luxury of vacation days and sick leave, or just blanket paid-time-off days, do you take those days or not?
There were three recent stories from Marketplace that offered perspective about the specific workplace benefits of vacation and parental leave (parental leave is when a child is born or adopted).
Please consider taking a few minutes to read and/or listen to them:
- When will we see tech industry benefits for everyone?
- Americans are taking fewer vacation days
- Unlimited vacation anyone?
Although some may say these are idealistic or even untenable situations from a business perspective, I wonder about what workers at these businesses think. Is the reality as rosy as the policy? What kind of a workplace culture can support an idea like unlimited vacation? Is there resentment among the workers about who is gone when? And with great benefits, can workers increase or stand up to the scrutiny of expected productivity and actually get to enjoy those benefits?
I think this quote from the unlimited-vacation story is the most helpful and boils down to folks working hard while they are at work and then recharging while they are away. It also is a results-oriented argument for offering good benefits for workers.
“‘Team members can take time off whenever they need it or whenever they want to,’ says Netta Samroengraja, CFO and chief people officer. ‘We feel like we have a much more motivated work force and they’re absolutely much more productive as well while they’re here.’”
Have a safe and productive day, and take care.
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