How Vacations Improve Productivity at Work

Highwire Act Balancing Work and LifeIt should come to no surprise to over-worked Americans that according to every survey done over the past decade, people in the U.S. are not taking all of their earned vacation days or Paid Time Off (PTO) each year.  For someone that actively manages their vacation days to ensure every one is an opportunity to enjoy life, this seems illogical and extremely disappointing.

Perhaps workers are worried about their job since the economy has been struggling and unemployment still hovers over 10%.  Some people may think that taking time off from work will affect their job performance or be viewed as a lack of commitment to the employer.  While those are legitimate concerns, the reality is that taking a vacation actually leads to higher productivity upon returning to work.

Employees that come back from a trip, whether a local getaway or visiting a far off destination demonstrate increased focus, creativity, and simply get more done.  There are several reasons mentioned and here are a few key points to consider if you are unsure whether to ask your manager to approve a time off request:

  • Overwork leads to stress and reduced performance and the best way to eliminate stress is to recharge the mind and body with time off from work.
  • People leaving on vacation ramp up productivity in order to complete tasks and prepare co-workers for the time they are out of the office; therefore more high quality work gets done overall.
  • When employers make it clear to staff that vacation time is one of the many rewards for a job well done, employees feel motivated to take advantage of the opportunity to maintain a healthy work-life balance and remain loyal.
  • When employees return from vacation they tend to be more creative in their thinking and approach to work tasks, leading to innovative ways to accomplish their job, get more done, and inspire others to do the same.

Vacation Productivity Button

So next time you are worried to ask your manager about taking a vacation, ask with confidence and clear evidence that you are looking to improve productivity and benefit the company.  Not taking a few days or a week of vacation for whatever purpose (travel, family, enrichment) will actually lead to reduced performance.  Believe it!

Happy Traveling…