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Vacation (vs. Monetary Rewards) Increases Humanization and Employee Well-Being: The Role of Work-Life Segregation
Providing one’s time in exchange for money is a fundamental aspect of the employment relationship (Dunn & Norton, 2013; Foley, 1982; Porritt, 2007). However, in addition to money, rewards can also take the form of time (Cutter, 2021). It is especially important to understand the benefits of time-related rewards, such as vacation, as we pass the pandemic because researchers, policy makes, as well as managers are beginning to reassess the value of time and its effect on employees' well-being (Kossek et al., 2021; Robinson, 2022; Stein et al. 2021). The present paper focuses on the impact of vacation (vs. monetary reward) on employees' perceived humanization—defined as "perceiving oneself as having a complex mind and intrinsic worth as a human being" (Hopper, 2019). Across four experiments and one survey, we found that receiving or thinking about vacation increased employees' perceived work-life segregation, which in turn enhanced their feelings of humanization. Such enhanced humanization is poised to further enhance employees’ satisfaction with their job, coworkers, and even their relationships outside of work (i.e., family). Receiving more time or money are similar in that they are both positive "rewards" given within the employment relationship, but as our studies demonstrate, giving time can have the added benefit of being perceived as more humanizing.