As I sit here preparing for this article, I realize that it is currently November 2019, December is just around the corner, and I have never taken a true vacation. I have been running my own business since July 1999 after being fired and I then incorporated in December 2000. So, I’ve been a “real company” for almost 20 years. “And with three sons and a wife who need me, I simply cannot just take time for myself,” I told myself. Well, my body is paying the price.
In Japan, they call it Karoshi. In Chinese, they call it Guolaosi. South Koreans call it Gwarosa. These words are so new because medical professionals did not know what to call this phenomenon. However, it is now a world-wide epidemic! Across the globe, people are working themselves to death and are refusing to take time off. But this is folly and futile for everyone. As I will soon share, taking paid vacation time benefits everyone – business owners, employers, and employees.
The WHO and the Bible Agree – We Need Rest
The World Health Organization confirms what the Bible has been saying for 2,700 years. Exodus 20:8-11 New International Version (NIV) 8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
What I have come to understand now is that this 4th Commandment is a commandment from God for people. The common thought to this is that God is saying “go to church,” but nowhere in the Bible does it say that. If the Bible says that out of 52 weeks in year, we are to take one day a week for rest as our Sabbath, then we should take 52 days of vacation each year.
Yet, according to many Human Resources sites and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 76% of private industry workers (e.g., small business employees) received paid vacation days. Depending on the length of employment, you may receive as little as 5 paid days off per year (for 1 year of employment) up to 24 paid days off per year (for 20+ years with a company).
Proven benefits of Time Off
Patriot Software noted that after taking time off, employees are more:
Paid vacation time is relatively inexpensive compared to other benefits employers could provide. Offering paid vacation time could decrease employee turnover rates, increase a business’s bottom line (due to increased productivity), and result in satisfied employees.
What You Should Do While on Vacation
The Balance Careers website, in their Human Resources section, offers valuable advice addressing compensation packets and paid vacation time. Author Suzanne Lucas suggests the following regarding what you should do while on vacation:
Something fun. It's not relaxing if you're not having fun. What that fun is, varies from person to person. You may love hiking while another person may see that as a fate worse than death. What's important is that you break your routine.
Use your allotted vacation time. It's part of your compensation. You'd never voluntarily give up a chunk of your salary, but that's precisely what you are doing when you work for free—which is what employees who have use it or lose it vacation days do.
Encourage your coworkers/employees to take their vacations. If you want a great vacation, then cover for your coworkers when they are out of the office. This makes it easier for everyone to take great vacation time when you have a supportive team.
The point is I owe myself 1,040 days of vacation time and the Ten Commandments are for people, not for God. Even if you may not be religious, days of rest are a good plan to live a healthy life.
Pursuing balance with you!
Patriot Software – Payroll Blog – Payroll Training, Tips and News
The Balance Careers – How Taking Paid Vacation Time Benefits Employees and Employers