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The economy’s still inching forward but businesses may have maxed out the productivity they’re getting from their employees. Now that the deep dark days of the depression are behind us, workers may be seeking a reprieve from the rigorous work days. When times were tough, people got laid off. Those that managed to keep their jobs began to work longer hours, either to prove to their boss that they were indisposable, or were forced to in order to keep their companies afloat. So, one would think if profits have stabilized that these same workers should now be entitled to use the vacation time allotted to them by law.

Except, there is no law on vacation time. Really?

Yes, really. The minimum number of vacation days that businesses must offer to their full time employees in the U.S. is zero. In the U.K., that number is 28. Though unemployment is still relatively high, those that are working year-round with no breaks aren’t necessarily doing it because of a poor economy, but rather because of the psychological belief that they must always be working.

According to an article on CNN, people feel stressed when they are not at work because they are worried about how much work is piling up and will be waiting for them when they get back. Other factors are at play as well because some workers report being too broke to do anything with their vacation time.

Businesses may have gotten too used to having their employees work 12 hour days and are expecting them now to contribute even more time as the economy improves. The truth is, that these same folks are probably more burned out than ever before. To improve their productivity, it may make sense to tell your best workers to go home, take the week off and promise that all their responsibilities will be taken care of while they’re gone.

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