The emails, phone calls, and meeting requests just won’t stop flooding in and you’re feeling a bit exhausted. A vacation sounds pretty good right about now, doesn’t it? But, there’s one thing holding you back: fear of actually stepping back and taking that time off.
If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. Over half of American employees—52%, in fact—didn’t use their allotted time off during the 2017 calendar year. While studies show that this percentage is decreasing year-over-year, America still has a lot of catching up to do. In Europe, for example, employers are legally required to grant over 30 vacation days to employees. Those statistics start to feel a bit more chilling when you realize that women are impacted most negatively by the expectation to be “always-on” as they attempt to balance career, family, and the household.
The only way to stop the toxicity of burn out culture is to lead by example. By honoring time away from work, companies can then begin to cultivate a happier and more productive workforce.
Perhaps the most obvious reason you should be taking your time off is for the sake of your own physical and mental health. Without taking appropriate vacation time, the long-term effects of stress can take negative tolls on both your body and brain.
Additionally, empowering your staff (and yourself) to take time off is a sign of a healthy company culture. Building trust and offering support to one another shows that your team has appropriate boundaries around work/life balance, and their absence might just act as a lesson for appreciating a colleague’s contributions.
Now, we’re not talking wealth in the traditional sense. (Although that applies here, too—if you aren’t taking your allotted time off, you’re effectively giving hundreds of earned dollars back to your employer each year.)
Wealth takes on many forms, one of the most important being happiness. If you’re ignoring your own well-being in order to crank out more work, chances are that you’re on the road to burn out. Detaching yourself allows you to be more resilient and focused inside of work hours, which leads to increased productivity. Not convinced yet? SHRM states that 78% of HR Directors found that team members that took more vacation days reported higher job satisfaction in the long run.
So, what are you waiting for? Book yourself some time away from the office—your productivity will only benefit from it.
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