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Why Taking a Vacation Often Feels More Stressful Than Working

Canadians sure love talking about vacations, getaways, and summer road trips.

But when it comes to actually taking holidays, there’s definitely room for improvement.

Recent numbers released by human resources firm ADP show that 31 million vacation days go unused every year.

Even the days we do use are less-than-zen. That’s because of a little thing called “time-off tax,” a self-imposed period of cramming before going on holiday and catching up after. ADP reports that Canadians average an extra 10 hours of work before vacation and 11 hours after vacation, which is half of a full-time work week.

time-off tax

All of that extra time at work before and after a vacation means a week-long holiday is really just a half-week escape from the office.

ADP Canada’s VP for strategy and marketing, Virginia Braile, believes the two findings are related. She says extra work is “a good explanation for why many Canadians may be reluctant to take a vacation, and may not feel completely rested when they do.”

It’s a pretty discouraging cycle – burn out while avoiding burnout.

time-off tax

“The health and business benefits of well-rested employees are too important to ignore,” says Brailey. “This is a perfect time of year for managers to step back and make sure their employees aren’t feeling pressured to pay a time-off tax.”

A few suggestions for your next vacation: pick a destination with reduced travel stress, set a strict ‘no work email’ policy or disconnect from the world completely, and make sure to incorporate some physical wellness into your break.

Oh, and don’t be afraid to use those precious few vacation days – you’ve earned them.


Notable Life

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