The Truth Behind Taking Vacation Time
When was the last time that you took advantage of the vacation days offered by your company? I don’t mean taking the 4th of July or Memorial Day off with the rest of your peers, I am referring to taking time off during a regularly scheduled work week. If you are like 54% of your peers, you are only using approximately half of the vacation days available to you (Glassdoor). Although there are many reasons that employees decide against using more vacation time, here are a few of the major misconceptions that may be holding you back from scheduling time out of the office this summer- and the truth behind them.
- “My productivity will suffer.”
Contrary to popular belief, vacation time does not cause productivity to plummet. Studies through companies such as professional services firm, Ernst and Young, have actually found that taking time away from work can be beneficial to employee productivity. They found that for each additional 10 hours of vacation time that their employees took, year-end performance ratings increased by eight percent.
- “I will fall behind in my workload.”
A study conducted by Glassdoor found that the top reason that vacation time is not utilized is the fear of falling behind. If appropriately planned, taking a few days off for a vacation won’t cause your workload to pile up too much. Of course, common sense dictates that you shouldn’t plan on taking off in the middle of an important project or during your company’s busy season to avoid falling behind.
- “My team needs me.”
Yes, your team needs you-but have a little faith in them. While you are an integral part of your team, the truth is that they will survive a few days without you. In all reality, your absence will provide them with the opportunity to take on some new responsibilities and give them a glimpse into what your job entails. You may be surprised to come back to find that your team has a whole new appreciation for what you do day in and day out.
- “I don’t need a break.”
Hard working individuals often forgo any type of time off with the mentality that they simply don’t need a break. Sure, no one technically needs a vacation, but most employees function better once they have had the opportunity to de-stress, recharge and focus on recalibrating their work/life balance.
- “I don’t have money for a vacation.”
Even if you manage to convince yourself that taking time off won’t completely ruin your career, you will be faced with the financial aspect of taking a vacation. While most of us wish that we could disappear to a remote island for a week-with nothing to worry about but reapplying our sunscreen-a vacation doesn’t necessarily need to be a budget breaking affair. If you are a budget conscious planner who is trying to save their hard-earned money, consider a stay-cation as an option. Rather than relying on the sun and sand to help you relax, unplug from communication with work, sleep in, read a book, and catch up with friends and family instead.
While you may feel that using your vacation days shows a lack of commitment and is frowned upon (especially if you are working towards a promotion or a raise), time away from the office may be just what you need to refocus and even increase your productivity.