By Andrea Romano
December 18, 2019
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People are overworked and burnt out, and we seem content to treat this as a fact of life. But it doesn’t have to be.

In fact, the issue that Americans are so overworked — one-third of all American workers haven’t even taken a vacation in over two years — is precisely why we should be making a commitment to take more time off in 2020.

According to the mattress review website Sleep Judge, the United States is one of only a handful of countries that do not mandate a set number of vacation days. More often than not, Americans are concerned about getting drowned with work once they get back from a vacation, or perhaps lose out on a necessary paycheck.

Sleep Judge surveyed over 1,000 employees about their vacation habits and their connection to worker’s health. For those who actually do take a vacation, the study showed that at least 50 percent of Millennial workers said that there is a limit on how much vacation they should take. 40 percent said they were actually more prepared to return to work after a short vacation.

While a short vacation can be beneficial for decreasing stress and increasing productivity, Sleep Judge determined that vacations of 11 to 15 days were actually ideal for putting workers in the optimal emotional and physical health to return to work. About 76 percent of workers confirmed that they felt more energized after this length of time off, 65 percent felt more productive, and 56 percent felt more creative.

Where you go also matters in terms of rejuvenating yourself for work again. The study shows that international travel, in particular, had a better effect on preparing workers to return to their jobs.

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Of course, this may not be enough to get more workers to take the necessary time off that they need, especially if their office culture is particularly shaming about taking vacations. The study discovered that one-third of Americans said their workplace culture didn’t encourage vacation use. Suddenly, the rise of micro-cations makes a lot more sense, considering that these extra-short stints minimize the time taken off.

Work-cations were also particularly popular with individuals who participated in the study. Taking a working vacation was most frequent among Millennials (20 percent) and those in senior and executive positions (37 percent).

However, if you truly want to feel relaxed and ready to go back to the office, taking more time to unplug and get away from work is still the best type of vacation out there.

For more information on the study, visit the Sleep Judge website.