I love vacations! There is something inside of me that gets so excited to get out of town and see new surroundings. As a business owner I used to be a little apprehensive to schedule some much needed time off. I thought, “Nobody but me can train my clients. Also, how will anything get done if I’m not there?”
Now you don’t have to own your own business to feel nervous about taking vacation. A few of my clients feel they are the glue that holds their workplace together. They worry that taking time off may displease their boss, create stress, and cause projects to suffer. (so they think) But according to the Harvard Business Review people who take vacations are not only helping their brains be more positive, productive and engaged but they are also increasing their chances of getting a raise or promotion.
New research from Project Time Off, a company that studies how vacations affect companies and employees alike, concluded that Americans are taking less vacation time than at any point in the last four decades.
If you are one of these Americans, here are three reasons to plan and actually take a vacation.
1. Vacation supports a more positive brain and improves business performance.
You’ve heard the saying “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”? Well that is especially true for how his (and your) brain performs at work. Another Harvard Business review article by Shawn Achor stated that “the greatest competitive advantage in the modern economy is a positive and engaged brain.” To be truly engaged at work, your brain needs periodic breaks to gain fresh perspective and energy.
2. Taking a vacation increases your chances of getting a raise or promotion.
According to Project Time Off, people who take all of their vacation time have a 6.5% higher chance of getting a promotion or a raise than people who leave 11 or more days of paid time off on the table. That percentage may sound small but it’s exactly opposite of the idea that not taking time off will help you get ahead.
3. Happiness equals productivity.
Enjoying much needed downtime has a direct affect on your level of happiness. Most bosses and managers know that happier employees are more productive. Research from the U. S. Travel Association supports this. In fact, when asked what vacation time benefit would motivate managers to talk to their employees about using more vacation days, the top benefit was increased personal happiness (31%), followed by productivity (21%)
Changing your attitude toward taking time off can be easy if you remember how much a vacation can actually contribute to your work productivity, your bosses view of you, and your own personal happiness.
It’s time to plan, pack, and get out of Dodge.