Regular time off can help employees recharge and avoid burnout
American employees are working more hours than their contemporaries around the world – 435 more hours than German workers and 400 more than their UK counterparts. The extra hours can bring higher pay, more exposure, and increased growth opportunities. But these padded work schedules come at a cost.
In 2020, a majority of workers shortened, delayed, or canceled their time off. So, as company productivity increased, employees’ work-life balance worsened. This could be part of what’s driving record rates of burnout across industries.
Though forfeiting vacation time seems to demonstrate loyalty to the organization and a deep commitment to important projects, the constant hustle can take a toll on individual well-being. Actually taking time to log off and unplug can work wonders for wellness and job satisfaction.
Why employee time off is vital
In addition to avoiding burnout, employee vacations are necessary to:
Reduce the impacts of everyday stress
Promote better work-life balance and give employees time for home duties, hobbies, and time with family and friends
Improve mental and physical health
Aid a happier workplace environment
Facilitate regular cycles of rest and rejuvenation
Employers benefit, too. Team members that work constantly without breaks are more prone to mistakes, which can cost the company money to fix. These same employees are also more likely to need emergency sick days, which can derail projects.
Not to mention, ensuring employees take time off shows that you care and helps maintain a positive impression of the organization. If everyone can use the paid vacation time that they’ve earned, they can recharge and return to work ready to perform at a high level.
How to encourage more employee time off
To create a culture in which your employees take regular vacations, you should start with your communication.
Make sure all team members are aware of how they accrue paid time off and speak openly about company policies on requesting and using earned time.
Many employees feel they can’t get away because no one else can do their job the way they do. However, it shouldn’t be like this. Help your team create systems and processes that can run seamlessly regardless of who’s in the office.
When a team member is due for vacation, express excitement about their plans. When they return, engage them about how they spent their break. By cultivating a workplace in which people can speak about their time off, you make rest and relaxation part of the culture.
Lead by example
As a leader, it’s vital that you practice what you preach. Be sure to take your vacation time, too, so that everyone at all levels sees the value and importance of utilizing this employee benefit.
Though it’s admirable to see dedicated workers grinding away at their desks, it’s just as crucial for them to practice self-care. Time off from work can help them maintain a high level of performance that benefits their careers, their team’s output, and the entire organization’s success.