More and more employees are leaving their vacation days untouched, and it’s bad news for their employers. A study conducted by the US Travel Association shows that Americans left 658 million unused vacation days* on the table last year. This isn’t a reflection of a strong work ethic; it’s a shortcoming on the employer’s part for not motivating their employees to take a break. Aside from being an attractive benefit offering, giving employees PTO and vacation time is really in the company’s best interest, so long as employees are actually using it! Here are five reasons why it pays to take time off from work.
- Come back inspired
Getting away from the office is a great way to clear your mind and gain a fresh perspective. When you’re not limited by impending deadlines, meetings, and day-to-day tasks, creativity can flow more freely so you can come back with new ideas and the energy to implement them.
- Healthier employees
Taking a vacation is good for your health, both physically and mentally. Reducing stress and anxiety can help alleviate your heart rate and blood pressure. Using time off to spend with family and friends strengthens personal relationships and fosters a healthy work-life balance.
- Better productivity
Stepping away from your job can actually improve the way you manage your time before and after your vacation. When you’re prepping to leave and when you’re catching up after you come back, you have less time to waste. So, you end up being more efficient and getting even more done with the time that you have.
- Less turnover
Don’t let employees fall victim to burn out! When you force yourself to work without any vacation time, stress can build up to the point of exhaustion. It’s easy to get demotivated when you’re working non-stop. Encourage employees to use their PTO to avoid overworking them.
- Cross train employees
Employees taking time off is much less disruptive when you cross train other employees to help pick up the slack while someone’s on vacation. It also contributes to a more well-rounded workforce, not to mention, the company will be better prepared the next time an employee is unexpectedly out of the office.
*The US Travel Association, Project: Time Off