Why You Should Use Your Vacation Time

Robin Schwartz

Robin Schwartz

Professional Human Resources (PHR) Certified

Whether you have been with a company for a year or a decade, taking advantage of the vacation time given to you is important. Many workers feel as if there is too much to do or no one that can support them if they decide to take a week away from work.

Even for those who find the idea of taking time away from the office stressful, it is essential to remember why you should.

You Need To Recharge

Experiencing burn out in your job can happen. Stepping away from the workload and meetings every once in a while so you can recharge and refocus on what is important.

Life is not all about work – or at least it should not be.

Taking time off is a good reminder of that. An exciting exotic vacation, a week at the beach with family, or even a much-needed “stay-cation” is a nice reminder that there is more to life than working all day and bringing your work home at night.

Taking time off to recharge could also help you to be more motivated and productive when you return.

Being able to let go of some of the pressure you encounter on a daily basis in the office by relaxing on vacation will better allow you to handle those stressful moments at work.

You Gain New Perspectives

Taking time off from work can do wonders for your creativity.

While it would be wonderful for employees to stop thinking about work when they are on vacation, that is not likely to happen. While you might still be thinking about your ongoing projects back at the office, you are able to think of them from a disconnected place.

This can lead to more creative and unique ideas. Taking time away may be what you needed to get past a difficult challenge or problem.

Depending on where your time off takes you, you may have the opportunity to experience different cultures or meet new people. There is nothing quite like finding out the couple next to you is taking a month off to travel.

The practices of American workers cannot compete with the vacations typical of Europeans or Australians, it certainly puts your one-week vacation into perspective!

You Have The Right

The vacation time your employer provides in their benefits package is earned by you and owed to you. The company is outlining a reasonable time off plan they feels creates a healthy work-life balance.

If you feel guilty about taking time off, just remember that even the executive leadership of your organization takes vacation. Should you feel your job will be threatened if you take time off, talk to someone in HR or management that can help.

You Don’t Want Your Employer To Re-Think Their Practices

Employers are creating time off policies around their specific industry standards so they can remain competitive with similar organizations. Vacation pay obviously comes at a cost to the company, but that cost can be supported by the benefits employees reap when taking advantage of their paid time off.

Organizations occasionally conduct audits of their benefits and practices. If the culture within an organization shows a significantly lower number of paid days off being used than are offered, the company could decide to reevaluate and even change their policies.

By using the vacation time given to you, you are showing your company that it is a valued and a needed benefit.

How Can Employers Encourage Their Staff To Use Time Off?

Managers and leadership play a large role in encouraging staff to take advantage of paid vacation. The time may be offered but employees need to feel comfortable using it.

Managers should make sure staff have proper backup support. The idea of stepping away from the office for a week or two stresses out many employees because they ask themselves “who will do the work?”.

Managers should proactively ensure that there are colleagues who can handle urgent matters while the employee is out or who can continue with standard processes.

Companies should limit vacation accruals or rollover. If an employee can continue to accrue or rollover vacation from year to year, they never feel compelled to use it.

Companies need to put caps on how many vacation days can be accrued and how many days can be rolled over from one calendar year to another.

Employers should refrain from allowing staff to “cash out” vacation. Some organizations offer the unique opportunity to “cash out”, or receive cash payment, for unused vacation days. Permitting this option is a monetary motivator not to take time off.

Leadership should practice what they preach. Show your employees taking vacation is okay by taking vacation yourself.

Using vacation time results in personal and professional benefits for employees and employers. The next time you hesitate to request those days off, remember that you deserve the chance to recharge.

About The Author

Robin Schwartz
LinkedIn

Robin Schwartz

Robin Schwartz is a PHR certified HR professional with a broad range of expertise including recruitment, performance management, employee relations and talent management. She leverages her years of experience in HR to bring functional change to organizational leadership and direction to management structures and employees.

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