Vacation Accrual – Why don’t we use our time off?

Vacation Accrual – Is there a stigma against taking time off?

Today my co-worker revealed to me that he’d lost two, TWO!, periods of vacation time accrual (12 hours at our accrual rate) because he had maxed out his vacation hours. We max out at 184 hours. That is 4.6 work weeks.

Toward the end of every fiscal quarter, we receive a not so gentle reminder from upper management to use our time off. This is always tempered with the caveat that as long as your deadlines are in control you should take some time off, enjoy it, use the time to relax and recharge. That’s just the thing; our deadlines are never under control. We’ve got too much to do, not enough people to do it, and the deadlines just keep rolling.

So I had to create a spreadsheet to track my accrual time and remind myself to take time off. What a sad state of affairs. The good news is, I get to take off every other Friday for the rest of the year PLUS two weeks off at some point when I can find the time. The bad news is, I can never find the time! It’s not good and it’s not healthy. And it should absolutely not be more stressful to take the time off than it is not to.

How do we find the balance?

Feel free to download my spreadsheet here. Use it wisely, don’t let those hours build up! Be kind to yourself. Life is short.

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