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Friday, January 27, 2012 - 1:45pm

WORKING: Use It Or Lose It

Updated: 5 years ago.
At many companies, the time-off policy is use-it-or-lose-it. Brandon Smith says we need to plan vacations six months in advance so we can avoid coming back to mountains of work or creating problems for our coworkers or workplace. (Photo Courtesy of Michael Lokner via Flickr.)

Many companies require their employees to use their vacation time in the course of a year or forfeit it.

It looks like that might be a problem for lots of workers. Just before the holidays, more than half of people in a Harris Interactive survey said they would have unused vacation time at the end of the year. Many wanted to take time off, but they were afraid to ask their boss for it.

This week, Brandon Smith explains how to avoid losing time off this year. (Hint: we have to start planning now.)

Brandon Smith teaches about leadership, communication, and workplace culture at Emory University's Goizueta Business School. More of his advice is on his blog and at And while you’re there, ask him your workplace or career question. We might use your question on a future radio segment.