Choosing to work every week rather than take a few days here or there for a vacation may seem like it’s more productive, in reality, it is the opposite. While more employees have paid vacation days they could be using, stats say that more than 50% of Americans don’t use all their paid vacation days. Roughly 77% of vacation days are ever used, ultimately resulting in 169 million days of unused benefits.
Taking Time for Vacation Leads to Better Business
A “working for the weekend” mindset is what keeps many employees from utilizing their vacation days only when absolutely necessary. However, this mindset and failure to schedule regular vacation time can quickly lead to workers being burned out. Read on to learn the real reason why every employee should take their vacation time seriously.
Vacations are Restorative
Vacations and time away from the office minimize resentment, laziness, and mistakes on the job. In studies from Ernst & Young, employees improved their performance by 8% with every 10 hours they took off. This shows that while you may want to work as hard as possible, it’s simply not feasible to work productively and consistently without a break. With regular vacations, you allow your body and mind to take a break from work and rest.
Regular Vacations are Good for Your Health
One of the best benefits of regular vacations are the health benefits. For example, employees that are well rested from a trip to a family-friendly resort will experience less stress, a decreased risk of heart disease and depression, as well as enjoying more motivation to meet goals at work. Employees that are healthy and happy are typically willing to spend more time working, all while performing at their best. Too often, employees are overworked to the point that they’re constantly sick, unhappy, and resentful of their employers.
More Time Away Makes Employees More Creative
Spending time working day in and day out can quickly drain your creativity. If you typically are an excellent problem solver, working endlessly on the same type of work makes it hard to come up with new concepts. With relaxing time away from the office, you can return to work with fresh ideas and a new perspective.
When employees get used to the same routine in the standard issues they deal with each day, it can stunt their growth and limit their thinking. Yes, weekends give workers time off, but sometimes, workers need a lengthier break. When a problem arises at work, the ability to think creatively may be lost on your employees if they haven’t had adequate opportunity to recharge.
Regular Vacations Strengthen Businesses
Businesses that rely on just one employee to do a specific task will be out of luck if that employee happens to be sick or on vacation. Businesses have the opportunity to get stronger when an employee decides to take their vacation time. Instead of making plans to put off certain work until that employee returns, businesses can give other team members new responsibilities to help grow their company.
While vacation times allows companies to create new ways to occasionally work without employees, it also allows companies to evaluate the work of these employees while away. Some companies that enforce a mandatory vacation policy may find that their employees’ work activities are inefficient or even illegal. Though most businesses may not experience this kind of issue, having each employee step away from their regular working routine allows for a business to evaluate and make changes to current processes.
Vacation Gives Employees Time to Build Skills
Working week in and week out barely allows employees any downtime. With the daily grind, most full-time employees are lucky if they can spend a few hours with family here and there, with barely any free time to spend on bettering themselves. Contrarily, taking vacations offers employees the chance to break the routine and learn new things.
Learning new skills doesn’t have to be work-related. While you might spend your vacation time pouring through textbooks for your next degree, you could alternatively use the time to work on a new hobby. With free time on vacation, you can practice a new language, start a new exercise class, or learn how to mold clay. The idea of building your skills with time off work is to make yourself more well-rounded while allowing your brain the chance to do some creative thinking while you are away from the office.
Vacations Improve Mental Health
Money is a necessity in life but shouldn’t come at the cost of an employee’s mental health. Far too often, people neglect their mental and emotional health by working themselves to the bone. When employees’ bodies and spirits are tired, it is no surprise that their mental health suffers.
By taking time away from work, be it a long vacation or a few days off of work, employees can work on caring for themselves. These mental health days off work allow workers to reconnect to what matters in life–spending time working on hobbies, relaxing at a luxury beach resort, building relationships with loved ones, and doing anything else that makes them feel alive.
Vacation is far more than an excuse to miss work and “slack off”. Changing your mindset of vacation and its impact on employees and business practices will help you understand the true value of recharging.