I mean when surveys show that Americans, who have always been kind of lame about taking vacations, are getting even worse, it’s pretty clear the idea of work-life balance is just not getting any traction.
According to Generali Global Assistance’s annual “summer holiday plans” survey, the average American vacation length will be about 1.4 weeks, down from 1.7 weeks in 2016, which also falls below the time taken by residents of other countries. The survey — which was conducted online for 10,000 consumers in 10 countries, with 1,000 consumers taking the survey per country — notes that Americans will also devote a 20% smaller budget to their summer plans than they did in 2016. To boot, Americans consider cash restrictions above all else in deciding where to travel.
Once they get where they’re going, however, the situation grows even more bleak: Only 56% of those Americans surveyed said they’ll completely unplug from work while away from the office. Compare that to the British, who report that 70% will leave their work at home.
So despite all of the science that shows how important downtime is to not just our own mental health, but also our cognitive abilities, we still manage to take less time for vacations, and spend less of that time unplugged from work, than ever.
So I guess if we keep down this path, we’ll all spend more and more time working, all the while being far less effective.
Maybe we should be doing something else?