Brigid Schulte explores behavioral science, why change is hard, and writes in New York Magazine how being an expert sometimes isn’t enough.
For years, as director of the Work-Life Center at MIT, Kathy Simons pushed for flexible work policies, family-friendly benefits, and could cite chapter and verse the research on how taking time off to recharge improves workers’ outlook, productivity, and health. (In case you’re curious: One long-term study found that men and women who don’t take vacations are, respectively, 30 to 50 percent more likely to suffer heart attacks than those who do. People who work long hours have a 20 percent higher mortality rate than those who don’t. And women who fail to take time off work are more likely to suffer from depression.)
Yet for five years, Simons herself didn’t take a vacation.