1 THE DAY OFF DIVIDEND A comprehensive, research-driven initiative to change mindsets, shift American culture and motivate American workers to use more of their earned time off.
2 AMERICAN WORKERS ARE OVERWHELMED. After years of being asked to do more with less workers are overstretched, stressed out and exhausted. The always on, 24/7 American work culture is taking a heavy toll, undermining personal relationships, health, even innovation and productivity in the workplace. If only we took more time off. We would feel healthier, renewed and re-energized. Closer to family and friends. More stimulated and productive at work.
3 SO WHAT S STOPPING US? Despite all the benefits of taking time off, most people don t actually do it: A surprising 42 percent of American workers had unused earned leave in In fact, new research estimates that workers did not use more than 400 million days of earned leave in 2013, an average of 3.2 days per worker. The growing stockpile of unused paid leave is creating a spike in worker burnout and ever larger balance sheet liabilities that directly affects a company s bottom line. American workers with unused leave Total days of unused leave in 2013 Days of unused leave per worker 42% 400M 3.2 CLEARLY, AMERICA SUFFERS FROM A DAY OFF DEFICIT. AND WHAT IT S DOING TO BUSINESS AND WORKERS IS DISTURBING: Hampering productivity Dragging down employee morale Challenging worker retention Undermining wellness ALL WHILE SAPPING CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION.
4 But the impact of the Day Off Deficit travels beyond a company s bottom line to cash-starved American communities, which feel a deep impact in loss of economic activity and jobs. Estimates of the overall cost of the Day Off Deficit to the American economy are alarming: THE DAY OFF DEFICIT $67 BILLION lost in direct travel spending $160 BILLION in total lost economic output 1.2 MILLION lost American jobs = 100,000 jobs $21 BILLION in lost federal, state and local tax revenues The truth is, encouraging workers to use just one more day of earned leave each year could bring $73 billion annually to our economy. USE IT. OR LOSE IT. America is at a critical crossroads: either reform our behavior and remove barriers to creating a Day Off Dividend or continue down the unsustainable path that has led to our massive Deficit and all of its harm. It s not easy, but it s doable. It means deep collaboration among American workers, businesses and government leaders. It means a focused campaign to reshape perceptions and change a deeply ingrained workplace culture. It will require rigorous research showing the quantifiable rewards of taking our earned leave and an outreach strategy to build awareness among key opinion leaders, partners in business and government and the broader public. THE DAY OFF DIVIDEND U.S. TRAVEL ASSOCIATION
5 SUCCESS REQUIRES A BLUEPRINT. THIS IS OURS. To build off the important work already completed, we have created a blueprint a long-term strategy toward reaping the benefits of the Day Off Dividend in the years ahead by encouraging Americans to take days off. We have outlined the barriers to and benefits of taking paid leave, created a research roadmap and defined a communications and outreach strategy to encourage action.
6 BREAK DOWN THE BARRIERS. BUILD UP THE BENEFITS. Many barriers prevent workers from fully using the time off they have earned barriers deeply rooted in the culture of the American workplace and in the mindsets of employees and their employers. What prevents employees from taking leave? Heavy workloads Financial constraints Pressure from management Poor communication Do the benefits outweigh the costs? Workers think so. Higher productivity More positive attitude towards work Great dedication to work Improved mental and physical health Better family and social life Increased contribution to company performance Source: An Analysis of Paid Time Off in the U.S. conducted by Oxford Economics.
7 These findings show that employee attitudes do not match behaviors suggesting an opportunity ripe for fresh research and proactive communications. UNDO PERCEPTIONS. UNLEASH CHANGE. For each of the primary barriers identified by Oxford s research, we will produce new research that directly takes on the concerns raised about taking days off, touts the benefits and drives the cultural change that the Day Off Dividend can unleash. TAKING OFF MEANS TAKING ACTION. Generating research and data is good. But it s not good enough. We must motivate people to take action. We will connect to consumers through opinion shapers and influencers, including health experts, opinion leaders and consumer media. We intend to create an ecosystem of informed messengers with specialties in career advancement, health, productivity, relationships/family, education, media, travel and healthy aging who will carry our data and research far and wide. PARTNER. AND GO FURTHER. We will also establish a group of advisors and partners medical, scientific and academic researchers, business and productivity gurus, travel experts, and family, parenting and relationship experts to provide research guidance. We will reach out to partners from research organizations, academia, private foundations, corporations, business associations and government. THE DAY OFF DIVIDEND U.S. TRAVEL ASSOCIATION
8 MOVING FORWARD FACT: the powerful benefits of taking earned time off are neither fully understood nor appreciated by American workers, businesses and government leaders. We aim to shift the culture, transforming public perceptions so that using personal time off is not considered frivolous, but essential to strengthening families and improving personal health; a business investment with proven returns, not a cost center; an economic necessity critical to creating jobs, lowering balance sheet liabilities and generating more tax revenues. Pursuing the Day Off Dividend requires significant financial contributions, dedicated talent and time and strong, lasting commitments from our partners. Changing public perceptions and motivating new outcomes will not be easy, but the way forward is clear. #traveleffect Travel Effect is a research-driven initiative that aims to prove and communicate the economic, social, business and personal benefits that taking time off from work can deliver. Visit The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.0 trillion in economic output and supports 14.6 million American jobs. U.S. Travel s mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit U.S. Travel Association 1100 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 450, Washington, DC PHONE: (202)