Have you taken your summer vacation?

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We’ve been hearing this for years, but Americans are working more these days, and many are taking fewer vacations days. This trend is disturbing as regular rest is critical for a work-life balance.

There are several issues to consider. In many cases, Americans are getting fewer vacation days as part of their benefits package.

In other cases, however, many Americans don’t take all the the vacation they have available. With career pressures and recent job market challenges, this is understandable. Workers are concerned about job security, and taking less vacation time is one way to make yourself seemingly more valuable to your employer.

But over the long term this can hurt your productivity. Getting away and recharging yourself is critical. Not just for enjoyment, but also to make you more productive.

So grab your bathing suit and get out to the beach, or frankly anywhere else you and your friends/family may enjoy.

Best companies to work for according to ‘Fortune’

Messages at work? No wonder Google is #1 on Fortune’s list of the 100 best companies to work for.

Rank: 1
Previous rank: 1
2011 revenue ($ millions): $37,905

What makes it so great?
The Internet juggernaut takes the Best Companies crown for the fourth time, and not just for the 100,000 hours of free massages it doled out in 2012. New this year are three wellness centers and a seven-acre sports complex, which includes a roller hockey rink; courts for basketball, bocce, and shuffle ball; and horseshoe pits.

Check out the rest of the list.

Should these benefits like messages be taxed? I don’t think so.

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