The underestimated importance of a good vacation

by | 16.03.2016
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In order to fully enjoy work, we have to embrace the times when we’re not at work and give our minds and bodies chance to relax, recharge and rejuvenate.


This sentiment is backed up by statistics with 96% of employees believing vacation time is important and 67% of managers saying taking vacations helps their teams be more productive. The problem is, people are finding it harder and harder to take their full allocation of vacation time due to the pressure of work. As such their performance at work is deteriorating, they are burning out and their health and wellbeing is suffering.

The latest research carried out in the US shows that 4 in 10 workers don’t take their full allocation of vacation time citing ‘company culture’ as the main reason why. The assumption from employees is taking time off work will reduce the chance of career progression. This sits alongside the notion of becoming a ‘work martyr’ where we become convinced the job won’t be done, or won’t be done as well, without our direct involvement. However, the result is less not more work being completed.

Shawn Achor, best-selling author and the man behind one of the most popular TED Talks, says this: “The greatest competitive advantage in the modern economy is a positive and engaged brain. To be truly engaged at work, your brain needs periodic breaks to gain fresh perspective and energy.”

And with improved engagement comes improved happiness, better levels of productivity and reduced levels of stress. This is why taking quality vacations is so important.


Here are the other benefits a taking a well-deserved break…


Brilliant ideas

Sometime the best ideas are the ones we have when we’re not at work and we have space to think. In order for ideas to flourish we need to give our brains the opportunity to think creatively and devise solutions. Everyday pressures can lead to tunnel-vision and a mantra of ‘getting the job done.’ By freeing ourselves of this pressure and giving our minds chance to recover we open them up to new paths and ways of solving problems.


A happy workforce

And a happy workforce is a productive workforce. Research from Project Time Off found that managers link personal happiness to better productivity. If we’re happy at work we perform better individually, we work better as a team and we’re able to achieve more. The flip-side is exhausted, burnt-out employees who are no good for anyone.


Better health

A study carried out in 2012 found middle-aged men who regularly skip vacations for 5 years are 30% more likely to suffer heart problems. The health benefit doesn’t just come from travelling to an exotic location, it comes from making sure work stays at the office and doesn’t travel with you.


It’s good for your customers

Stressed-out employees don’t always provide the best customer service! Employees who are engaged and feel like they are being looked after are much more likely to provide your customers with a positive experience which in turn will work wonders for your word-of-mouth marketing.


The world won’t end if you’re away from your desk, don’t reply to emails for a week and enjoy time spent away from the office. What is more is when you return you’ll be full of energy to enjoy work and give more to your business.


All that’s left for you to do is plan your next vacation!

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