EconomyFinancial#Between the lines | The price of the (damn)...

#Between the lines | The price of the (damn) vacation

The so-called Fourth Transformation prepares one more scratch on labor policy. First it was the labor reform of 2019, then the end of outsourcing, the policies for remote work and, now, a recharged vacation policy. Through Bertha Alicia Caraveo, senator from Morena, she intends to modify Article 76 of the Federal Labor Law so that the period of paid vacations in no case can be less than 12 days a year.

Without a doubt, Mexico owes a great debt to vacations. Today we are in the table of the worst countries with paid vacations. In Europe there is a well-developed culture on the matter: the United Kingdom offers 28 days, Luxembourg 26 and France 25. In Latin America, Nicaragua, Panama, Cuba, Peru and Brazil grant 30 days of vacation. Here, only 6 and the occasional holiday.

Under this panorama, this measure implies a change in the culture of rest and a recognition of the trends that were emphasized with the pandemic and that strive for greater care of the health and well-being of workers. But, also, it should force us to rethink the conceptualization we have of vacations, which today is understood with certain paternalistic and punitive touches.

Yes, there are Mexicans who enjoy the sweetness caused by vacations, but in general terms, a culture dominates that has a very undervalued rest. There are those who decide not to take vacations so as not to provoke the fury of the boss. Others boast, with a strange dose of pride, that they haven’t taken a single day in two or three years. There are some who think they don’t deserve them…

Vacation time is part of working life. Disconnecting generates resilience, well-being and creativity. It is a falsehood to think that the longer you stay at work, the more success you will have. No one gets a medal for living in the office. Work martyrs are not the best employees.

Conclusion: the vacation period can be 6, 12, 20 days, but if the very purpose of this measure is not understood, rest, we will continue to be trapped in a hyperconnection that will only generate false hyperproductivity and more states of burnout and depression. .

In Mexico there is no data that allows us to locate the relationship between vacations and the benefits they generate in productivity and in the well-being of people, but it is proven that there is a connection.

According to a study by the United States Travel Association and the Time Off project, which involved knowing the opinion of more than 5,000 employees, those who took less than 10 of their vacation days per year had a 34.6% chance of receiving a raise or bonus over a three-year period, while those who took more than 10 days had a 65.4% chance.

For its part, the World Health Organization maintains that working 55 hours or more a week is associated with a 35% higher risk of stroke and a 17% higher risk of dying from heart disease, than a work week of 35 to 40 hours.

Are we facing a cost or an opportunity to have better human capital?

Seen this way, we must eliminate those strange springs that make us deny the vacation period. The HR areas should welcome this adjustment, not thinking about costs, but about the maintenance that human capital requires to perform better. The bosses, for their part, check if they are the ones who do not promote the holidays and eliminate their toxicity in this regard.

“The employee is now a customer of experiences. Today, employees consider that the company has to give them satisfactory experiences from recruitment, compensation, dealing with the boss, inclusion, freedom and psychological security; when the experience is bad, they obviously become discouraged, disengage and leave. You have to treat the employee as a client”, says Rogelio Salcedo, partner and general manager of the Olivia consultancy.

The focus should be on productivity, not on controlling the time and working day. We must forget about micromanagement, trust more, measure by results, promote better work habits. Leadership, after the pandemic, should not lose its approach of humility and humanity; stay connected to emotionality and focused on social skills and not on techniques. Better communicate the purpose and not be dragging the team. It is managing by purpose, not managing by force.


This story has another side: the labor cost that its implementation will imply.

The bosses, at this moment, are surely already calculating the incremental cost of this measure. Initially, it is not clear what will happen, for example, with the vacation premium. Along with increased absenteeism with paid days, it is expected that there will also be an impact on the associated vacation premium.

Similarly, it is not known how the table of days granted based on the age of the employees will move. It is unknown whether the long work history of those who, due to the hazards of life, quit their old jobs and continue in a new job will be taken into account. This initiative does not consider a high-rotation labor market and seems to be made under the old meritocratic scheme in which seniority had to be done to “deserve” more days off.

The labor cost increases and, consequently, the great challenge is to improve our productivity to be competitive against other markets. There is our Achilles Heel or our great opportunity.

Editor’s note: Jonathán Torres is managing partner of BeGood, Atelier de Reputación and Storydoing; business journalist, media consultant, former editorial director of Forbes Media Latam. Follow him on and on Twitter as . The opinions published in this column belong exclusively to the author.

After a year of labor reform, what has been the experience of companies?

The challenge then is to break the paradigm that 100% of the processes of an organization must be executed within it to maintain direct control and responsibility.

Challenges and benefits of the proposal to reform the Federal Labor Law

Companies have the opportunity to take on the challenge and, with the right tools, have successful experiences that promote not only staff productivity, but also their well-being.

Using vacation rentals can save you up to 30% on accommodation

The beaches of Mexico are very helpful due to the compression of the market in destinations such as Florida. And digital nomads in the United States are looking for available spaces to work remotely.

What are the obligations that companies have with employees who work from home?

Those companies that do not comply with their obligations can receive a fine of 21,720 to 217,200 pesos, according to article 992 of the Federal Labor Law.

Salesforce Mexico, one of the best companies to work for

The work team of this company achieves a respectful interaction that transcends a better work coexistence.