6 Reasons Why Vacation Improves Productivity

Summer is winding down and before we know it the year will be too. Before that happens, take a look at your remaining vacation time. You might have just finished a nice long summer getaway or have already allotted your remaining vacation time for the holidays. But if you’re like most U.S. employees, you still have paid time available. In fact, according to Project: Time Off, 55% of American workers let vacation time go unused. That’s a huge waste!

You likely have projects, conferences and client meetings and think that you cannot possibly get away from the office during such a busy time. To believe that taking vacation time is irresponsible, selfish, lazy or unproductive completely is to miss the point of why we’re allotted vacation time in the first place. It’s good for us! It’s good for our colleagues and it’s good for our business! If that is not convincing enough, I’ve detailed six reasons why you should rethink vacation time.

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  1. It allows you to take a step back. So often we get caught up in day-to-day work that we can’t see the forest through the trees. Time away provides much needed pespective on the bigger company picture. Once back in the office and refreshed, you might view a project or a budgetary problem in a completely different light.
  2. Empower your team! Yes, you’re a Rockstar but so are the many talented people that work with you. When one teammate is out, other teammates have the opportunity to step in, try new roles and further their own growth.
  3. You better prioritize work. Does every email need 10 replies? Do you need to review the work of one employee that is very capable? When you’re away and some of your normal tasks don’t get done you start to see if they really need to be done in the first place. This helps better prioritize your time on more crucial work.
  4. Taking time to add value. When we’re away, we often try new things and meet new people. Maybe you have a stack of books you’re waiting to dive into. All of these experience add to our personal knowledge. Some of it might relate directly to your work and others more indirectly. Either way, you are learning and are going to come back from your well-deserved break stronger.
  5. Should an emergency strike it won’t be the end of the world. I would say the vast majority of time when we go away, we’re still reachable. While it’s important to unplug as much as possible, should an emergency at work happen, you can likely handle it. WIFI is widely available and most of us are equipped with reliable and secure laptops, tablets and headsets. If needed, you can work for an hour from your beach bungalow and then get right back to the sand.
  6. You’re happier! This should be the most obvious, but sometimes we underestimate the importance of it. Taking time off makes us happier people. Too often we work until we’re completely burned out. More frequent vacations help avoid this and make us more appreciative of our work-life balance. You return from time away happier, more rested and ready to take on a challenge. This makes for a better-off team as a whole.
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As always, remember best practices when taking time away. Consult with your team and clients on priorities to ensure work is covered. But, whatever you do, do not let the time go to waste. See a new destination, volunteer, finish a project or simply enjoy a few relaxing days at home with your family. It’s your time and you earned it.

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