More likely, though, the true roots of the problem lie in a company’s culture. The report laments that roughly one-third of senior managers never or only once a year communicate the merits of taking paid vacation. But that seems an inadequate, or at least poorly framed, explanation. Many workers know about the benefits they’re entitled to, and ultimately they’re responsible for taking advantage of them. So if workers are reluctant to take time off, that probably has little to do with whether or not they’re being regularly reminded of their own job’s perks.
Instead, it probably has more to do with what employees perceive their bosses’ opinions of vacation to be—that’s why hearing them talk about its merits is important. Senior managers, the report finds, are more than three times as likely as other employees to respond to work emails while on vacation. When your boss is getting back to your email within minutes during her time off, what does that say to you about how you should treat vacation days?