Do Small Business Employees Take Enough Time Off?

Today, the vast majority of Americans are employed by small businesses in their areas, but it seems that most of them aren't doing enough to take advantage of all the perks of their jobs. New data reveals that the average worker does not use all of his or her vacation days.

Nationwide, workers have an average of 14 vacation days a year, but only use about 10 of them, according to the 13th annual Vacation Deprivation study from the popular travel site Expedia. Altogether, that's more than 577.21 million vacation days that are going unused across the U.S. On the other hand, only 59 percent of U.S. workers say that they feel as though they're not getting enough vacation time, slightly less than the 62 percent of people around the world who felt the same way.

Interestingly, though, more than three in four U.S. workers also say that they believe their supervisors are supportive of their taking vacation days, the report said. Instead, the reason most often cited by workers for not using their allotted vacation days is that they're trying to carry them over for future trips, with 25 percent saying that this was their reasoning. Another 18 percent say that they don't do so because their companies simply pay them for any vacation days they don't use. Other issues were at play as well, though, including scheduling, budgeting, planning, a workload too large to allow them to take time off, insecurity with their places in the company, or disapproving bosses.

"No one retires wishing they'd spent more time at their desk," said John Morrey, vice president and general manager of Expedia. "There are countless reasons that vacation days go unused – failure to plan, worry, forgetfulness, you name it. But rested employees are more productive employees, so taking regular vacations may well help the company more than failing to do so."

A lack of vacation days is often a major reason why stress besets owners in particular, as they rarely – if ever – give themselves time away from their enterprises. One potential way they can relieve stress in other ways when employers feel they can't take a few days off is by shopping around for more affordable small business insurance. Cutting costs for policies, including investing in liability insurance, can go a long way toward improving a company's margins because it may help save thousands of dollars annually.