To Work or Not to Work: Should You Use Your Vacation Days?

It’s the last Friday of the year for many worker bees who are getting the next 11 days off or using their vacation days to enjoy the holiday. But for millions of others who only get Christmas and New Years Day off, there’s still one more week of work left in 2007.

Unless you have the luxury of working from home, it can be kind of tough figuring out if or when to take time off for the holidays – especially if, like me, you don’t have any travel plans or family obligations. Sure, I can get errands done without wasting an entire weekend, but technically, I don’t have to be anywhere or do anything so do I really want to waste my vacation days? It’s a tough call for anyone.

On one hand, the office is much emptier than usual, which can boost your productivity. Use the time to get organized, analyze your 2007 projects and get a headstart on next year. It’s also a good time to put make a good impression on your boss or supervisor or get to know him or her (if they haven’t taken the week off).

On the other hand, a quiet office is really boring, which can make those eight or nine hours drag on and on. A lot of other companies shut down for the holidays making it impossible to correspond with clients or generate sales. And while it might be nice having a couple other coworkers around to liven things up, you might end up wasting time and not get much accomplished.

For me, it’s pretty simple: Would I rather use my vacation days now to do nothing special at home or spend 10 days in Hawaii in February? I choose Hawaii, like many others in their right minds would.

Then again, if you have any sick days left, keep in mind that those days usually don’t carryover into the New Year, which means you lose them. Not that I’m advocating lying to your boss about being sick or anything… no, no! BUT there is a wicked stomach flu going around…