Why Taking Vacation Time Is Important For Employees
As a manager, do you ever wonder why vacation time is important for your employees?
It’s a common occurrence at many companies. Big corporations and small family businesses all see this issue. Even though they have access to a week or a few weeks of paid holiday, people just don’t use up their vacation time. Indeed, a lot of people cancel or postpone their vacation time because of real or perceived work obligations.
A vacation provides well-deserved time off from work and an opportunity to rest and recharge. Too much time spent at work can lead to fatigue and stress. In turn, this directly affects our physical and psychological well-being. A few days of not thinking about work helps recharge and reduce stress. But just a weekend is not enough. Those vacation days are meant to be used!
A Vacation… What’s That?
If you’ve got to ask, then there is definitely a problem here. However, in pandemic and post-pandemic times, it might be worthwhile to redefine what is meant by the term “Vacation”. A vacation is typically a getaway.
However, getting away doesn’t mean leaving the country or even the house. The key is to find a setting that facilitates a mental break by leaving work – and all associated worries – behind. It could simply mean getting rid of your phone for a few days. To stop reading emails and receiving constant notifications. It could simply mean to disconnect.
Some people manage to do this from home (a so-called staycation), while others head to the cottage or out of town. Either away, a change of surroundings helps disconnect more completely from daily concerns.
The Benefits of Vacation Time
Taking time to relax and play has powerful benefits for both children and adults. Play is any activity that creates surprise and pleasure. Adults who are able to play, can take a temporary break from time constraints, rules and responsibilities. Overall, they enjoy more balanced lives.
A great way to add more “play” to your day is through a day trip or a walk through nature. It could also be something more physical such as a pickup soccer game and other more adventurous sports.
One of the reasons why taking vacation time is important for employees, is that is can have great benefits for health.
Indeed, taking time off relieves stress. Research shows a direct link between stress and health conditions such as headaches, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and other types of infections acquired as a result of a weaker immune system. Taking vacations also reduces the incidence of burnout.
Secondly, it renews our outlook. Relief from stress often gives us a new perspective. It allows us to rebuild our energy and often to find simple solutions to problems that had previously seemed overwhelming.
Even More Benefits!
- Rest boosts mental capacity: A well-rested mind that’s free of worry is often more effective and creative.
- Time off supports better physical health: A vacation provides the opportunity to catch up on sleep and exercise, which are two simple remedies for our many aches and pains.
- Vacations can strengthen relationships: Today’s families or groups of friends are very busy. A vacation is a great opportunity to spend time together in a less scheduled setting and build lasting memories together, whether with your chosen or real family.
- It reminds you to enjoy life: Taking time off can be a great opportunity to meet new people, laugh, read, learn and do the things that you enjoy the most.
Since vacations offer a break in the stress cycle, people usually return from a successful vacation feeling ready to take on the world again. Vacations help us gain perspective on our problems, relax with our families and friends and take a break from our usual routines.
The Employer’s Crucial Role
Now that we understand why taking vacation time is important for employees, what role should the employer play in all of this?
Employers have a role to plan in encouraging employees to take advantage of paid vacation time. Here are a few ideas:
- Limit vacation accumulation and rollovers: While it isn’t always practical for all employees to use their allotted annual vacation time by Dec. 31, it’s important to encourage them to use their vacation during the allotted time. Limit the number of days that will roll over into the next year.
- Encourage mini-vacations: Sometimes, employees’ reluctance to take vacation comes down to concerns about losing money or getting behind on their workload. Instead of one big holiday, employers can encourage those employees to take mini-vacations, such as half-days here and there during the week or three- or four-day weekends during the year.
- Set a good example: Leading by example, organizations can encourage managers and executives to use their full holiday benefits. They need to recharge, too.
A Vacation Management Tool Could Help
Vacation is a critical part of work-life balance. However, requesting vacations can seem like a drag. Many employees avoid taking vacation days simply because they are reluctant to ask!
With an automated tool such as Vacation Tracker, your team never needs to second guess their requests. The software integrates with various collaboration tools and makes it really simple and seamless to request paid time off. This can be done anytime, with just a few clicks.
In short, making the whole requesting process quick and painless inevitably leads to more vacations booked throughout the year! Moreover, the app tracks all of your team’s vacations and allows them to view their remaining balances through an easy-to-use Dashboard.
Finally, the employer can go the extra mile and recommend some travel destinations to their teams. (Some posts in our blog could help you out!) Of course, for now we can only dream of travelling to foreign lands. Meanwhile, there are plenty of staycation ideas for you to consider.