Seeing as the holidays have just passed and many people took some days off, I thought this would be appropriate (and interesting). When looking at the world’s developed countries, you can see that the US ranks last for the average number of vacation days given annually. The information comes from the World Tourism Organization, and linked from InfoPlease.
|United Kingdom||28 days|
Source: World Tourism Organization (WTO).
My personal thoughts on work is that people work to have time off. In other words, the reason most people work is to pay for their time off work. You look for a place of equilibrium where you work only as much as you need to pay for your time away from work. I remember a very smart economics professor in college detailing a graph on just this topic.
Maybe one of the reasons that people get so stressed out in the US is due to overwork. One of my favorite web companies, 37 Signals has a great philosophy about simple and less actually working better. A quote:
To say you don’t need more time pisses off the bosses whose employees say, “37signals says I only need to work 30 hours a week and I’ll work better.” (read the full BusinessWeek Article)
Fortunately, I work for an organization that allows me to have more than 13 days off per year.