Tag: advise

Need a vacation? Experts advise you to take one | News

More than ever, people could use a vacation in 2020.

Data show most people won’t take the days they have earned and in fact, employees are working more than ever because so many are working from home, extending hours on the job.

Finding a way to manage it all, even changing company policies to permit employees to carry vacation days into 2021, are keyed by constant communication, Gabe Abshire an expert on workplace culture who is the CEO of Utility Concierge in Dallas.

According to a 2019 study by The U.S. Travel Association, Oxford Economics and Ipsos, Americans left a record 768 million vacation days on the table in 2018, a nine percent increase over the year before.

Couple that trend with the fact that many people skipped scheduled days off this year because of COVID-19 and many employers and employees are scrambling over the final seven weeks of the year.

Many companies have a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy with vacation, which can pose a challenge at this time of the year, especially when so many people are out of work because of the pandemic.

“Obviously, it’s an unprecedented time and a lot of things have changed,” Abshire said. “A lot of people are grateful to have a job with so many people laid off. So there is some uncertainty about the reaction. They feel guilty even asking.”

You shouldn’t.

“Employees should not be fearful of asking for vacation,” Abshire said. “It’s yours. You’ve earned it. But communication is important. Make sure you give them plenty of time. Don’t get to Dec. 15 and say, ‘I have 2 weeks left, see you in 2021.”

It is also vital for companies to communicate to make sure employees are aware of how much time they have left to take off, especially if there is no carryover.

“A lot of employers are just as grateful that you are there,” he said. “Whose responsibility is it to track it though? If the employer wants a team to be healthy and sharp, then they want them to take the vacations they are entitled to. There has to be an environment created where employees aren’t fearing taking off.”

That is as important as ever considering studies show that people working from home, while perhaps finding an easier work-life balance, are also putting in more hours.

With access to phones and email, it can be more difficult to disconnect while working at home

Studies show people working at home are spending, on average, 48 minutes more a day working than if they were in an office setting.

“It started out as this novel idea and two months into it, a lot of people were like, ‘this is what work-life balance is supposed to look like?’” Abshire asked.

“Some companies have seen it become a problem, so they cut people off where they can’t log-in to work, or shut the phone log-in off for the day. For our team, it’s made our employees more productive, more accountable and happier.”

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UPDATE 5-Biden aide says no U.S.-wide COVID lockdown planned as West Coast states advise against travel

(Adds New Mexico health order; updates latest national tallies)



A health care professional walks past an ambulance during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 13, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri


© Reuters
A health care professional walks past an ambulance during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 13, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

By Doina Chiacu and Sharon Bernstein

WASHINGTON, Nov 13 (Reuters) – President-elect Joe Biden’s top coronavirus adviser said on Friday there were no plans for a wholesale nationwide lockdown to curb the surging COVID-19 pandemic, while three U.S. West Coast states jointly called for a halt in non-essential travel.

The warning against unnecessary transit came as the daily increase in COVID-19 cases in the United States rose to a record of over 177,000 on Friday, the fourth straight day a new all-time high has been set, according to a Reuters tally of figures from U.S. public health agencies.

California, Oregon and Washington urged residents to avoid venturing out of state, citing concerns raised by health experts that the coming holiday travel season would accelerate already alarming spikes in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown took the additional step of ordering social gatherings limited to no more than six people, effective immediately, a restriction she said she was prepared to enforce.

“I am not asking you, I am telling you, to stop your social gatherings … and your house parties and to limit your social interactions to six and under, not more than one household,” Brown said.

Similarly, New Mexico’s acting health secretary, Billy Jiminez, extended through the end of November a three-week-old ban on gatherings of more than five people who do not live in the same household, along with a directive advising state residents to stay “in their homes for all but the most essential activities and services.”

That order also requires face coverings be worn in public and mandates the closure of workplaces not defined as “essential businesses,” such as grocery stores, farms, childcare centers, banks, “big-box” retailers, factories and healthcare facilities.

The dire situation has prompted a growing list of state and local governments to re-impose restrictions they eased during a summertime ebb in COVID-19 outbreaks.

The governors of six states in the Northeast, the region hit hardest in the early months of the pandemic, plan an emergency meeting this weekend to coordinate responses, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

The country’s patchwork of measures will likely remain intact after Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20 following his election defeat of Republican President Donald Trump, the head of the Democrat’s coronavirus advisory board said.

“We’re not in a place where we’re saying shut the whole country down,” Dr. Vivek Murthy, a former U.S. surgeon general, told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“Right now the way we should be thinking about this is more like a series of restrictions that we dial up or down depending on how bad a spread is taking place in a specific region,” he said.

Murthy’s comments were a sharp rebuttal to Trump’s repeated campaign assertions that Biden was intent

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Biden aide says no U.S.-wide COVID lockdown planned as West Coast states advise against travel

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President-elect Joe Biden’s top coronavirus adviser said on Friday there were no plans for a wholesale nationwide lockdown to curb the surging coronavirus as three U.S. West Coast states jointly called for a halt in non-essential travel.

The joint advisory from California, Oregon and Washington urging residents to avoid venturing out of state came as health experts voiced concerns that the coming holiday travel season would accelerate already alarming spikes in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown took the additional step of ordering social gatherings limited to no more than six people, effective immediately, a restriction she said she was prepared to enforce.

“I am not asking you, I am telling you, to stop your social gatherings … and your house parties and to limit your social interactions to six and under, not more than one household,” Brown said.

The increasingly dire situation has prompted a growing list of state and local governments to re-impose restrictions they eased during a summertime ebb in COVID-19 outbreaks.

The governors of six states in the Northeast, the region hit hardest in the early months of the pandemic, plan an emergency meeting this weekend to coordinate responses, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

The country’s patchwork of measures will likely remain intact after Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20 following his election defeat of Republican President Donald Trump, the head of the Democrat’s coronavirus advisory board said.

“We’re not in a place where we’re saying shut the whole country down,” Dr. Vivek Murthy, a former U.S. surgeon general, told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“Right now the way we should be thinking about this is more like a series of restrictions that we dial up or down depending on how bad a spread is taking place in a specific region,” he said.

Murthy’s comments were a sharp rebuttal to Trump’s repeated campaign assertions that Biden was intent on locking down the country if he were elected president.

Medical experts point to increased indoor gatherings with the onset of winter, along with lapses in social distancing and mask-wearing habits, as the main factors stoking an ominous nationwide surge in coronavirus transmissions and the rate of COVID-19 tests coming back positive.

The mounting caseload is starting to strain the resources of some hospitals and is on track to push many to the brink, they warn.

“I’m 100% worried about the holidays,” Dr. Khalilah Gates, a pulmonary specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, told Reuters on Friday. “We don’t have an endless ability to surge.”

TROUBLING BENCHMARKS

Announcing the West Coast travel advisory, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said a strict mandate was ruled out over concerns that “COVID fatigue” might spark a backlash, leading people to behave in ways that are less safe.

The advisory urges individuals entering or returning to the three states to self-quarantine for 14 days, the presumed incubation period for the virus.

On Thursday, California became only the

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