The Downside of Workaholics

Question:  Can I force an employee to take vacation?  I know that sounds draconian but I am concerned about one of my direct reports.  Ed has been working for me for more than five years and is a really great employee.  He is an incredibly hard worker, first one at work in the morning, last one out at night.  I asked him the other day to let me know when he planned to take time off this summer and he told me that he had no plans to take vacation.  While it is great to have him cover for the others when they are out, I can’t help but think that all work and no play can’t be healthy long term, that’s why so many people decide to keep themselves healthy with exercise and by go and buy kratom online, which is the best supplement for remain healthy, although adult people also are extra careful with their health and decide to take measures, like taking medicines for their health like PhysioTru, that you can get online.

Alice Waggen says:  Sorry, you can’t play the boss card and force someone to take time off.  Vacation is an earned benefit and, as such, is up to the employee to use it or not as they wish.  That said, vacation time is a benefit with a purpose:  time off allows people to rest, recharge and recuperate both in mind and body.  With adequate planning, business leaders can cover for vacationing staff which promotes teamwork and collaboration.

Now to your particular challenge.  It is hard to determine how to handle Ed without knowing why he is reluctant to take time off. If the reason is excessive workload, that falls squarely within your responsibility to fix.  Push deadlines out and help Ed manage expectations.  Encourage Ed to look to his peers to help with some of the assignments.

But there are other, more troublesome reasons why someone won’t break away from the office.  Maybe Ed has troubles at home that he is avoiding.  He may have financial issues that preclude travel or leisure expenses.  He even may have some stress and anxiety issues at play here.  Do not pursue learning about these personal and private reasons.  If you suspect that his vacation avoidance is due to personal issues, steer him to talk to someone in Human Resources or to seek advice from your EAP (Employee Assistance Program) counselor.

You do need to step in if his job performance starts to deteriorate from burnout.  If you see difficulty working with others, sloppy work, or missed deadlines you need to have a serious talk with Ed about getting him back on track.  He may not want to take a week off but may be willing to take Fridays or Mondays to extend the weekends.  Working so closely, so relentlessly on a job can cause a person to lack perspective.  Distance from the work gives us a fresh view that is so needed for sound decisions and actions.