Remember the care free days of childhood when the most stressful part of vacation was just the wait to get there? Thoughts of homework not finished or upset teachers never crossed your mind. Fast forward to present day where the days leading up to vacation have you feeling stressed and guilty. There is work left undone, someone else is taking over your responsibilities and there is no way they will do the same level of work as you. Taking vacation can almost be taboo at some companies, as if putting in 100-hourworkweeks makes for a better employee. Not the case! Here are 6 reasons why taking a vacation actually improves employee productivity at work.
1. You are happier- Coming back from vacation, you are less stressed, in a better mood, and have higher levels of energy. Employers who come back from vacation are more satisfied with their lives in general.
2. Good for your health- According to a study by University College London, people who work eleven hour days or longer are 67% more likely to develop heart disease than those who work seven or eight hours a day. Chronic stress can put a strain on your body and puts you at risk for several health issues. More vacation = less sick days.
3. Lower burnout rate-Employers who take vacation have lower levels of job stress and burnout rates. A study by John Pencaval of Stanford University revealed that productivity takes a nosedive when employees work more than 55 hours per week. Working too many hours a week without a break will lead you to the brink of insanity and could possibly lead to you quitting a job you actually love.
4. Step out of your comfort zone- Vacation can take you to some fascinating and exotic places. Use this time to get inspired, think of new ideas, and maybe see the way your business would be run on the other side of the world.
5. Rest for your brain- We are constantly taking in information through emails, phone calls, and paperwork. At some point, our brains cannot handle anymore and it stops processing this information.
6. Networking- You never know whom you might meet on vacation. The person sitting next to you on the plane may become your next investor or lifelong customer. You can also use this time to explore new markets and cultures.
Employers are starting to hop on this “vacation is good” bandwagon. Basecamp, a web development company based out of Chicago, gives its employees three weeks paid time-off each year, and lets them travel for a part of it on their expense, if they have been with the company for more than a year. And accounting firm, Ernst and Young, did an internal survey that found that those who took more vacation time were getting consistently better grades on their performance assessment at the end of the year. While paying for your employees’ vacations may not be a fit for your company, think of all the money you will save if/when they leave the company and vacation time needs to be paid out.