Vacations are something that we all fantasize about, whether we hope to travel to an exotic locale or simply see some local sites that we haven’t made it to yet. Unfortunately, even Americans that can take a vacation often don’t. The average American leaves 8.1 paid vacation days unused.
While many employees, managers, and business owners fear the pile of work that may greet them when they come back, research shows that taking a vacation can actually be good for business in many ways. To reap these benefits, employers should encourage employees and managers to actually use their vacation days by taking steps to make sure that they will not face extra work upon their return. Employers should also set the example by taking vacations and spreading the word about the benefits.
Vacations Give People a Chance to Recharge
Taking a vacation can allow individuals to get away from the work-a-day stresses and truly unwind in a way that is not possible with just a few days off. Being able to catch up on sleep and have a week or more away from the alarm clock can have a rejuvenating effect. Studies show that managers and employers that take a vacation experience an increase in productivity after returning to work, which can have a positive impact on the rest of the staff.
Travelling Provides Inspiration and Perspective
Going to a new place, especially if the place is far away and very different from home, can help workers to get a fresh perspective. Eating new food, seeing people live their lives in a different way, and experiencing changes in the daily routines can help to shake ideas lose that may otherwise never have surfaced. Traveling is often inspirational and many entrepreneurs report getting their best ideas while traveling in an exotic place.
Meeting New People Offers Networking Prospects
When meeting new people, one of the most common ice breaker questions is “What do you do?” This very question can create exciting new networking prospective when posed to employees involved in public relations, managers, and employers. It is not uncommon for new business opportunities to come to light after vacationing individuals begin discussing the finer points of their working life with others involved in similar or related industries.
PTO May Assist with Retention
While not a direct effect of actually taking vacation, offering paid time off (PTO) may help to attract top-caliber talent and may help to retain employees. Allowing employees to take mental breaks from work and have fun with their family can assist with creating a good work/life balance. Making it easy for employees to travel by allowing employees to take larger chunks of time off or even allotting bonuses that assist with travel expenses may also help align employees’ life goals with job offerings.
Making Vacations Work
Vacations benefit businesses in many ways, but just offering PTO is often not enough to encourage employees to actually use the vacation days. In many companies, job positions are unique, so there are many tasks that do not get completed when an employee, manager, or business owner steps away from the desk. It is important to cross-train and create an environment where all tasks can be completed by another individual so that everyone employed by the company can take a stress-free vacation.