In normal times, vacations are an important part of most businesses’ compensation package, giving staff time off to periodically disconnect, which can increase both employee productivity and increase retention.
And now, in pandemic times, we are breaking into a more normal new normal. Thankfully, vaccination rates are climbing, and people are gaining the confidence to venture back into society.
While some workers may have taken some time off for family or other issues in the past year, most have not taken a proper vacation in quite some time.
Vacations may be more needed than ever.
And now, as you and your professional firm transition out of a COVID-19 period and back into a more standard - and safe - work schedule where vacations are once again possible, here are valuable reasons why they are good for businesses and workers.
Benefits for Employees
- Well-Being: Those who take trips or vacations regularly score better on well-being than those who don’t, according to a Gallup survey. Even just planning a trip can increase happiness.
- Health: For men, the rate of heart attacks is higher among those who do not use their vacation time, according to a study by Psychosomatic Medicine. Even skipping one year of vacation can increase heart disease risk for men and women.
- Decreased Stress: In addition to lowering heart risk, vacations can also lower mental stress and depression, giving individuals time to get away from work issues or the tedious parts of home life.
- Better Sleep: Fewer outside stressors and deadlines lead to better sleep, and that leads to better health. It’s a beneficial cycle across the board.
- A Better Relationship with Your Significant Other: Work-life stress and strange work hours can harm intimate relationships. Vacation time can help restore everything that has been lost.
- Family: Family outings or trips can help solidify family relationships and bonds, allow them to.
Benefits for the Business
- Productivity: Employee performance and retention rates are higher for staff who take more vacations. By resting and recharging the mind and body, workers can increase their ability to work under stress, meet goals and beat deadlines.
- Staffing Benefits: Vacations are a significant component of business compensation packages, and can help attract or retain quality staff.
If you’re a business owner, you need a vacation, too! For all of the reasons above, vacations can help you in your personal and business life, no matter how interconnected they are. Although it may seem daunting and stressful to step away from your enterprise, it can actually be beneficial. It can help your team feel more trusted, strengthen your managers, and help you step back from operational tasks. When you return, this can give you more time to focus on bigger picture business functions and growth.
Final Tip: Use Your Vacation
Americans are bad at taking time off. Whether it’s because we are addicted to our work, identify ourselves more with our jobs, or are simply trying to prove ourselves to our bosses, more than two-thirds of U.S. workers don’t use all of their vacation time each year. There’s nothing wrong with using PTO—so please do it!
Need more convincing? It actually turns out you’ll be a better worker if you take your vacation days. According to the Harvard Business Review, workers who regularly use their vacation time have an almost twice as high likelihood of getting a promotion or raise during a three-year span.
Make sure you have a couple of days to unwind when you come back from your vacation before you have to get back to work. Sometimes, a post-vacation de-stressing time is necessary, too. Perhaps consider shorter, but immersive, vacations.