Read the case provided below and answer the questions.

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Managers encourage your team to take time off. “I’m going nowhere fast.” This was the concern one of my clients recently. Her complaint wasn’t about working in quarantine per se, but about her frantic pace and static productivity. With the initial adrenaline rush of the crisis passed, vast numbers of my clients are reporting that they and their teams feel exhausted to the point of being useless, work demands are on the rise, and the time saved commuting has been converted to meetings that creep earlier into the day and fill the space between dinner and (a too-late) bedtime. It’s not just our commute times that have been co-opted but also our vacations. With nowhere to go and much to adjust to, most people have cancelled not only their travel reservations but their time off as well.

However, while the number of hours worked is soaring, people’s capacity to focus and

produce quality work is diving. Several of my clients — executives and managers, along with

their human resource partners — are increasingly seeking guidance on how to unplug and

recharge and encourage their employees to do the same. Companies are offering a range of

wellness options but also vary in their policies about taking time off, from “we trust you, take

care of what you need to” to “take some of your allotted vacation time” to “we need all hands

on deck right now and we can figure out time off later.”

Research shows the benefits of vacations to employee productivity and the economy — both

of which are currently under threat. Unused vacations have cost U.S. businesses $224 billion

a year. Project: Time Off’s new study found that 95% of people surveyed claimed that using

their paid time off was very important. And yet for the first time in recorded history, more

than half of Americans (55%) left vacation days unused, which equates to 658 million unused

vacation days. Take a moment for that number to set in. Imagine the impact those vacations

could have on the U.S. economy — on airlines, hotels, restaurants, attractions, and towns —

not to mention the impact it would have on individuals’ stress levels.

Remember, this is paid time off that is not being used. Let us ask you two questions to make

this idea come alive: Would you do your job for free? And do you take all your vacation days? If you say no to the first, you had better say yes to the second.

In truth, if you are not taking all your time off, you’re not working more — you’re volunteering your time. This is our favorite conclusion from the study: “By giving up this time off, Americans are effectively volunteering hundreds of millions of days of free work for their employers, which results in $61.4 billion in forfeited benefits.”

Working from home doesn’t mean working all the time. Ease the numbness induced with

back-to-back video calls and a long to-do list by reinventing vacations and time off, and

encouraging your team to do the same. As Limeade’s CEO Henry Albrecht stated in my survey,“Share the rules, show care, model the behaviors, and trust people to do the right thing.”

Question 3:

3) In your opinion, how can you ensure that taking time off is the best solution to increase

employee motivation and efficiency? Are there other solutions? What are the steps in

evidence based management thinking that can be used to make the best decision for your

employees? (16 marks)

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