All employees can experience a variety of benefits from taking vacation, including but not limited to the following:
Opportunity to Rest, Relax & Recharge: Weekends or other scheduled days off are typically not enough time to fully recharge. By scheduling vacation time we can give ourselves an adequate amount of time to help us reset.
Avoid Burnout and Increase Overall Wellness: Working continuously without vacation can lead to feelings of burn out. Even the simplest tasks become a challenge, our passion starts to dull and we lose some of our drive. A study on a four-day long-weekend vacation demonstrated positive effects on well-being, recovery, strain and perceived stress for as long as 45 days.
Increase Productivity: Taking vacation time allows us to take a step-back and reflect on the negative habits that make us less productive. Upon return to work, you can start fresh with positive habits, including taking your breaks and disconnecting from work outside regular business hours, and you will inevitably be more productive after having time to rest.
Lower Stress: To avoid the negative effects of chronic stress, we need time to replenish and return to our pre-stress level of functioning. This recovery process requires “switching off” from work by having periods of time when you are neither engaging in work-related activities, nor thinking about work. It is critical that you disconnect from time to time to lower stress in a way that fits your needs and preferences.
Find Inspiration: When we take time to relax we are able to open creative parts of our minds that we may not always be using. You can bring this inspiration back to work with you when you return and you may find a new/creative ways of doing things or solving issues you have been facing.
Nurture Relationships: If you are constantly logging long hours or checking your phone and e-mail all evening, important people in your life may begin to feel less important or even neglected. Even a short amount of time away allows you to unplug from work and spend quality time with your loved ones.
Team Build: When we take vacation time, we send a message to our co-workers, direct reports, and leaders that we trust that operations will continue at the required service level in our absence. Taking vacation also provides others with new opportunities, including leadership opportunities, which help us learn and grow in our careers.
To ensure a stress-free vacation:
Reschedule meetings scheduled during vacation time or ask someone to attend in your absence
Set up a pre-vacation meeting with your supervisor to let them know the status of work before leaving or provide them with a written update
Try to finish off any priority items that need to be completed in your absence
Set a clear Out of Office automatic reply advising who to contact in your absence
Shut down your computer/ work phone and/or turn off any work-related notifications and enjoy your time off!