Advice for Hiring Managers and Owners

Consider your off time policy.  Consider this: in other countries there are mandatory amounts of off time imposed by the government.  Usually anywhere from 20-30 days, more when mandatory holidays are counted.  In the US, nothing is mandated, at least not yet.  Based on my own experience people in the US average 15 days of ‘off’ time including vacation and sick time.  I put ‘off’ in quotes because, during that time, they’re usually still working.  They’re on the phone, they’re checking email, they’re not working at 100% capacity, but they are still working.  Speaking with someone from Europe, if you ask, “Who does your job when you’re not at work?” the standard answer would be, “No one.  I start working again when I get back from vacation…”  Also, they often don’t take all their vacation.  Realistically they’re looking at two weeks off if they’re lucky.

Put simply, people in the US are starting to get pissed.  I don’t agree with socialism as a way to do things, but the simple fact is they have proven that your workforce doesn’t need to be on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Your company will not crumble to dust if someone goes on vacation for a week.  Also people in the US are increasingly aware of how badly they’re getting fucked in this area.  The workforce is globalizing, information is certainly flowing, I’d recommend hedging your bets and offering something now before it gets mandated.  This country is increasingly heading to the left in a lot of ways, pretty soon I don’t doubt we’ll have true single payer healthcare among other things.

Now, here’s some math to show you people how stingy you motherfuckers are.  There are approximately 2080 work hours in a standard year.  Two weeks total time off is 80 hours, or approximately 4% of the overall time.  Four weeks of off time, or 160 hours, would be approximately 7.5% down time.  This is not a major amount of time.  Christ, I’ve seen maintenance schedules for manufacturing equipment that give the fucking machines more ‘vacation’ time than the people that maintain them.

For more exact numbers:

One week of off time is 1.92% of the total work year.  Two weeks of off time is 3.85%.  Three weeks of off time is 5.77%.  And four weeks of off time is 7.69%.

When you own a machine that manufacturers widgets you know it’s limits, you know when it needs ‘off time’ for maintenance, and you know pushing those limits means potentially losing a valuable resource to wear and tear.  Why is it you people don’t realize the same applies to your employees?

Take a fucking hint and give your employees a break, literally.  Stop working people until burnout and then replacing them when they fail.  It’s inhuman, it’s poor business strategy, and it’s just a plain old dick move.

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