Breaking It to Your Boss: How to Ask for More Vacation

Content Tools

This article is one of several on reclaiming rest in all aspects of our lives. For more, read  Get Radical. Get Some Rest. ,  Give Us a Break ,  Want to Get Away, Stay Home ,  Sleep Tips: Age Matters , and  The No Wake Zone .

Ensuring adequate vacation time for Americans would require policy change at the national level. Until that happens, here are ways to persuade your employer to grant you and your coworkers more time off.

Negotiating a new job contract? Consider asking for additional paid vacation time. No go? Suggest trading some pay for extra time off. If necessary, request unpaid time. Make it clear that having some time to live your life is important to you.

Work with your employer to ensure that employees are cross-trained so they can fill in when coworkers are on vacation. Ask that vacations be scheduled in advance and that those schedules be honored. If you work for a small business, you might suggest that the business shut down for a couple of weeks in summer.

Talk with your employer about why vacations matter and why you’ll be even more productive when you return to work. Refer to studies that indicate employees will be healthier, potentially reducing health care costs. Suggest that a good vacation policy also produces less turnover.

Excerpted fromNov. 2008), “your guide to a healthy way of life”;