My husband and I got talked into attending a Timeshare presentation in return for a “free” weekend-long trip to Branson, MO last year. They almost had us sold. Almost.
Something I took out of their presentation was that the average full-time employee gets 3-weeks of paid leave each year. That sounds like a pretty significant figure, unless you follow-up with the fact that only about HALF of those employees actually use all of that time each year.
Why is that? Do we think our managers look down on us for being gone? Do we really need those few extra hours to roll into our 401(k) plan? Is the cash out for those few hours really more important than taking a personal day and saving your sanity?
Some of us have all of our sick and vacation combined in one PTO bank, while others have separate banks for each. Regardless, the average amount of time we get to sleep in on a weekday is 3 weeks each year. Why are we not using it?!
Folks, this is a problem.
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The Top 3 Reasons to Take Time Off
1. Health Improvement
You owe it to yourself, to your spouse and to your children to stay healthy. When you get into the habit of only taking a personal day because your daycare won’t let your child stay there with a 102 temperature (even if it’s simply because she’s teething) your making an unhealthy decision. (Guilty.)
When you practice self-care, you will in turn be able to put so much more of yourself into the work you are completing for the business. And guess what? Your co-workers want you to be at your best too! You are providing them a disservice by not delivering your A-game every day.
Go see a matinee. Get a pedicure. Buy some baseball tickets and have a Date Day with your spouse. Never traveled before? Book that trip to Jamaica that you’ve been dreaming of all your life. Get out of that cubicle!
2. Increased Motivation
When you take the time to let your mind rest, you can go back to work with the Reset button pressed.
Just telling yourself to be more motivated actually increases your motivation. Seriously, go listen to a motivational video (I recommend Eric Thomas). If you say you aren’t just a little bit more motivated to conquer the world afterwards, you’re fibbing.
So tell yourself to go on vacation, and DO IT. You’ll return feeling refreshed and ready to knock out that To Do List that’s been sitting on your desk for weeks untouched.
3. Increased Productivity
It has been researched relentlessly the connection between increased productivity and utilizing vacation time. In the end, I think we can all agree that there is not much sitting at the beach for a week cannot heal – including office burnout.
Working on the same things or getting fed up with one project that’s been lingering for weeks can be frustrating. Taking some personal time to breathe and coming at it with a clear mind a few days later can be just what it takes to increase your productivity and knock those tasks out of the park.
Studies have also shown that those who do take their vacation time get promoted more often and get more salary increases than those who do not utilize it.
Mixon HR offers Services that can assist employers in creating paid-leave Benefit plans and policies to best fit both the company and its employees.
“Do not get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” -Dolly Parton