Harvard Business Review: What One Company Learned From Forcing Employees To Use Their Vacation Time

Neil Pasricha recently collaborated with Shashank Nigam, the CEO of SimpliFlying, a global aviation strategy firm of about 10 people, to ask a simple question: “What if we force people to take a scheduled week off every seven weeks?”

For most of us, it’s hard to actually use vacation time to recharge. So it’s no wonder that absenteeism remains a massive problem for most companies, with payrolls dotted with sick leaves, disability leaves, and stress leaves. Would it help if we got more paid vacation? Not necessarily. According to a study from the U.S. Travel Association and GfK, a market research firm, just over 40% of Americans plan not to use all their paid time off anyway.

What’s the solution?

Recurring, scheduled mandatory vacation.

Yes, that’s right — an entirely new approach to managing vacation. And one that preliminary research shows works much more effectively.