June 30, 2017
As a nation, we are overstressed and do not prioritize taking a break. But why? When did this trend start? How can we change our mindset of vacation? Neil Howe investigates:
From John Stuart Mill to John Maynard Keyes, eminent economists have repeatedly predicted that as living standards rose, people would work less in order to enjoy more leisure time. In recent decades, however, hours worked by full-time U.S. employees have shown no such downward trend. The latest data illustrating this stubborn work-centrism come from the U.S. Travel Association: Americans left a record 662 million vacation days unused in 2016. Remarkably, Americans are choosing work over leisure: In a competitive, free-agent job environment where workers are expected to be on-call at all times, they either cannot or dare not take time off.