Vacation time is often included as a benefit for your staff, so why should you have to encourage them to take vacations? It turns out that nearly 50% of employees don’t take their allocated vacation days due to vacation guilt – a feeling caused by the idea that they’re dumping responsibilities on someone else or they’re just going to make their own lives more stressful upon return.
We live in a society that is aware of the importance of mental health, but it’s easier to talk about the importance than to practice it. Encouraging your employees to take vacation days can help in so many ways. Check out some of the direct benefits below!
Promote the Importance of Work-Life Balance
So many workplaces today forget the importance of balancing work and life. There is this stigma that surrounds vacation time. Many people think they’ll be perceived as lazy or uncommitted if they take their allotted time off to go on a vacation, but that simply isn’t the case. Knowing how to balance work and personal life and take time to go on a vacation is important to the employees’ overall function.
“Vacations allow us to reward ourselves for all of the time we’ve put in at our jobs,” says Adam Bém, Co-Founder and COO of Victoria VR. “It’s important to remember to prioritize your life outside of work too. Find something you love to do and take a vacation where you can do that. It could be reading, hiking, swimming, or simply relaxing, but the result will be a happier and recharged version of yourself that’s ready to hit the ground running when you return to work.”
Our bodies and minds aren’t supposed to do the same thing every day forever. We’re often happiest when we take time out of our day-to-day lives to do something we enjoy and use that time to re-energize and motivate ourselves so we can work better when we return to work. While hobbies and evening activities can help break up the monotony, they only provide a brief reprieve from your work.
“A lot of people feel like their evening and weekend activities are enough to help them recharge,” says Stephen Skeel, Co-Founder and Executive Producer of 7 Wonders Cinema. “However, there have been many studies done that show vacations and time off of work can be incredibly beneficial to an organization’s productivity. Staff are more motivated and energized after returning and often produce better results.”
Mental Health Benefits
We’ve all heard of burnout. Burnout happens when someone is running on fumes due to a lack of motivation, mental energy, and too much stress. Burnout is one of the leading reasons people leave a job – but it can also be one of the easiest to mediate. Providing breaks, days off, and encouraging vacations can have massive mental health benefits that reduce the risk of burnout.
“Mental health is an important thing for you to promote in your workplace,” says Drew Sherman, Director of Marketing and Communications of Carvaygo. “If you see staff starting to become weary and burnt out, you need to promote using vacation time and encourage them to take care of themselves. They can only be a good employee if their well-being – physically and mentally – is prioritized.”
Physical Health Benefits
Did you know there are physical health benefits to taking vacations? It’s true! While vacations can do wonders for mental health, they can also have physical health benefits as well. Studies show that taking regular vacations not only reduces stress and improves mental health, but it can decrease risks of disease later in life that are often exacerbated by stressful environments such as heart disease.
“Encouraging staff to take vacations or even the occasional personal day can have massive impacts on their health,” says Brandon Lurie, Marketing Director of Y Meadows. “Stress levels can be brought down and improve the quality of life that they’re living both on and off the job. This is especially true if they work in a high-stress environment. Stress has so many physical effects on the body that it’s no surprise that vacations can improve physical health as well.”
Increase Staff Retention
Nearly 90% of people leaving a workplace say that they’re leaving due to burnout caused by stress and a lack of motivation to continue doing their jobs. This is a problem for employers because training a new employee means that time, money, and resources have to be spent in the effort to find someone to replace that individual that leaves.
“While money shouldn’t be the reason you look to avoid burnout, it’s a factor that should push you to seek ways to decrease the chances of your staff leaving,” says Shaunak Amin, CEO and Co-Founder of SnackMagic. “Burnout occurs when people feel like they’re not making a difference, not valued, and feel like the stress that they’re experiencing isn’t worth the paycheck. Remind your staff to take vacations and days off to recharge and you may find that they come back with a better mindset.”
Better Workplace Culture
Facilitating a workplace that doesn’t frown on people taking personal days requires an evaluation of the workplace culture you’ve created. Do your staff feel like they’ll be looked down upon by management or coworkers if they take days off? That shouldn’t be the case.
“Frequent denial of requests for vacation or snide remarks about someone taking time off can really damage the workplace culture,” says Dan Potter, Head of Digital of CRAFTD London. “Let your staff know that you care for them and value their work-life balance by promoting the use of their allocated vacation time and encourage them to encourage others to take time off as well. Find a way to disperse work evenly when someone needs to take time off so there’s no resentment from coworkers over someone going on vacation and making them take over their assignments.”
Burnout and stress can cause a lot of problems in the workplace and relieving your staff of those feelings is one of the major benefits of encouraging employees to take vacations. Having a way to recharge and find motivation can make everyone’s life better in the workplace.
Encouraging a workplace culture that values self-care, mental health, and time off is crucial to allowing your staff to take vacations that are stress-free. Vacation days are a lot less beneficial when your staff feels guilty for taking them because they may upset coworkers by asking for help or make their own lives more difficult when they come back because they’ll have so much to catch up on.
Mental and physical health can both be improved with vacation time. If your staff are healthier, they will be able to work better when on the clock and you’ll have a more productive team that feels good about what they’re doing.