Have you taken – or do you plan to take - a vacation this summer?
The day you took off for a dental procedure and binged watched Game of Thrones from your sofa doesn’t count. Nope, I mean a real vacation, away from your regular routine and – gasp – away from work.
If the thought of those emails and projects piling up while you’re gone gives you anxiety you’re not alone. Turns out, almost half of U.S. workers don’t use all of their allotted vacation days. And for those that do, the majority of them still check email or take care of work business while they’re away.
With today’s technology, unplugging and disconnecting is hard. And not a shocker - Americans are among the worst. A recent TripAdvisor poll showed that 77% of Americans reported working while on vacation, compared to 40% of people in other countries such as Australia, Brazil and Germany. Many people feel that they can’t completely disconnect. Some worry it’ll be frowned upon at work. Others are afraid to get “too far behind.”
Whatever the reason, if you haven’t taken one recently you might want to add “book vacation” to your to-do list. Studies show that professionally, you can actually benefit from taking vacations. In addition to coming back tan and refreshed, vacations are proved to:
- Reduce stress
- Reduce depression
- Increase productivity
- Increase happiness
- Boost creativity
Most workers return from vacation more productive and healthier – both physically and mentally. The break is like a hard refresh – it sets us back to a balanced state, ready to begin fresh. We’re able to approach challenges and tackle problems with a renewed vigor.
So go ahead, schedule yours guilt free. You'll be more productive and your company will benefit in the long run. To make life even easier, here are a few vacation tips:
- Schedule early and coordinate with your coworkers/staff/boss so your vacations don’t overlap and projects/clients are taken care of
- Communicate any projects or outstanding work to your coworkers/staff/boss so they can handle anything that might come up while you’re away
- Dedicate a single person that can contact you in case of emergency
- If possible, give yourself a day to unpack, recover from jet lag and relax before you return to work