You Should Be on Vacation!

Are you planning on taking a vacation this summer? You should be!

Studies show that employees who utilize their paid vacation days are happier and healthier, and more productive when they return to work. Here is why you should take a vacation and encourage your employees to take one too!

  • Better health – Studies have shown that men who go on vacation every year reduce their overall death rate by 20%. Almost everyone reports feeling better and more energized after a vacation.
  • Better focus and concentration when you return – studies have shown a correlation between vacation and higher performance reviews. On average, ten hours of vacation results in an 8% increase.
  • For business owners, vacations can be a time to take a step back and assess the business away from the stress over every day. It can be a perfect time to look at the big picture, and make some long term plans.
  • Improved sleep –your brain needs sleep to process what it learned during the day, and help reinforce learning.
  • More energy and overall satisfaction with life. Most employees report feeling more energetic even before the vacation begins, as they get excited about planning, and working hard to get work done before they leave.

Why people don’t take vacations

In short, because they have too much work! Since the recession in 2009, many companies have been doing more with fewer people, and increased workloads keep employees busy all the time. In small businesses the main reasons for not utilizing paid time (in descending order) are:

  • Too much work to do
  • Accumulating vacation time for the future
  • I enjoy my job
  • My company needs me
  • I can’t afford to travel
  • Don’t need the days
  • I can get cash for days
  • Work would pile up
  • Hard to schedule

And a few people even cite:

  • Discouraged by employer
  • It would put my job at risk

How to Get Away

In a small business, a single person can carry much more of the workload than in a large business, and if you are the business owner it can feel impossible to leave for even a few days. But you should. And here is how:

  • Delegate – if you are a business owner and don’t feel comfortable leaving your current employees alone – you may have a hiring issue! But if they are simply unproven, give them the opportunity to grow, and to shine.
  • Gatekeeper – one way to protect your time off is to enlist a coworker as a gatekeeper for your information. Anyone that wants to contact you must first go through this person, who has the ability to determine what is important enough to contact you.
  • Email bankruptcy – this may seem extreme, but it could work (and some pretty famous guys use a similar method). In your vacation message be very clear that emails received while you are away will be deleted, and whom to contact in the meantime. And when you return – delete all your emails. Seriously.
  • Set limits – OK, you aren’t really going to delete all your emails. But if you must check your messages while you are on vacation, set limits. For instance, only check once per day, and never check when you should be having family time.

Whichever method you choose, you won’t regret taking time off. And if you need any help with your employees while you’re gone, let us know, we are here to help!