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Opinion
Megan McArdle

Your Company Needs You to Take a Vacation

Employers shouldn’t just give their employees vacation days; they should force them to actually leave the office and go on vacation. 
This is an important message from the HR department. 
This is an important message from the HR department. 

When I was at the Economist, we had a mandatory five weeks' worth of annual holiday. By which I mean you had to take it; you could neither roll it over nor forfeit the leave. And like many other Americans in such a situation, I usually ended up getting a note from my boss explaining that I would be taking the entire month of December off.

Journalists like to write opinion pieces complaining about the stingy vacation and holiday policies of U.S. employers, but the policies don't matter that much, at least for the managerial class, because people don't take what their companies give them.