13 Jul Come on In, the Water’s Fine! Time To Use Those Vacation Days
Who doesn’t love a vacation from work? Most people do, according to a recent Pew survey. In fact, 62% of workers place an extremely high priority on paid time off. And yet according to the same survey, almost half of workers who have paid time off don’t use all of the time off that’s offered. They worry they’ll fall behind in their work, or that their co-workers will have to take on more during their absence. Worse, some say taking vacation will make them seem replaceable, or that they are not up for advancement, or they worry they could be let go. When employees use their paid time off it not only benefits them as an individual, it benefits employers.
Using vacation days or personal time off has positive health benefits for employees. On the job, when people use their time off, they have less job burnout, increased efficiency and productivity when they come back to work, and tend to have an increase in positive attitude and work satisfaction. This boost in job satisfaction and energy levels lends an additional benefit to the company culture and productivity, which in turn benefits each person’s mental health. When people use their paid time off, they can get away from the daily grind and stressors which can contribute to adverse physical and mental conditions. While certainly not a cure-all, time off can help with overall wellbeing.
Employers (and the economy) also benefit when people use their paid time off. That “power through” mentality is detrimental to employee wellbeing. When people don’t use their full time away, the mental and physical deterioration translates into lost efficiencies and decreased productivity at work. Employees who are fatigued or stressed can be more prone to making inadvertent errors, resulting in further productivity losses and time wasted. Using vacation also helps decrease unscheduled absences caused by those mental and physical impacts manifesting into illness. When people know that it’s “safe” to use their time off, it increases employee morale, productivity, and employee retention.
Investing in and encouraging employees to fully use their paid time off not only benefits the individual’s well-being, but also helps the employer via increases in productivity and improved company culture. So, go on! Encourage your teams to actually use that paid time off.