Go Ahead, Use Your Vacation Time

Whether you’ve worked for a company for 1 year or 16 years, you shouldn’t be scared to use your EARNED vacation time. It’s part of your compensation package, right alongside with how much you’re being paid every month, your health benefits, etc. That’s time you’ve earned.

Although employers are not required by law to provide vacation time, often employers offer it as part of the benefits package to be more appealing to potential prospects and give back to their employees. So why do so many not take vacations?

Bad bosses

But we’ve all been there with the bad boss who even though you have earned vacation time and work hard during your shifts, still gives you guilt for using it and even for bringing it up. I had one of those, she didn’t believe in vacations. She would let you use your vacation time but when you got back, she would run around the office saying the vacation made you lazy. So you just don’t use it to avoid conflict. And we’re not talking about being that employee that calls in sick every other week, or tries to take a vacation right before (or during) a major trade show, we’re talking about the employee who works hard and deserves time off to do them. Whether that’s lying on the beach in Hawaii, exploring Paris, trekking to Everest Base Camp, or taking a long weekend here and there to explore nearby states.

As for my bad boss that didn’t believe in vacations… taking a vacation doesn’t make you lazy, there are so many perks to using your vacation time both for your mental and physical wellbeing as well as for your career. Keep reading to see what they are.

Workload

But not only do Americans not take vacations because of bad bosses, studies show that Americans don’t because they’re scared of their workload. We are taught that in today’s competitive world that the busier you are you will be rewarded and to be constantly plugged in and working. But that doesn’t necessarily make you more efficient, and it doesn’t necessarily make the quality of work outstanding.

Part of the problem is that even when you do take time off work, you can see your workload adding up on your phone. So unplug! Turn off notifications on the work-related apps, silence your phone, whatever it takes to keep your mind off work and on relaxing.

Often times we also feel that no one else can do your job. Which might be true that no one can do the same quality of work at your specific job, or fully understands the processes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t train someone else to cover for you while you’re gone. It doesn’t mean they’re going to replace you while you’re gone, it doesn’t mean that you are going to come back to no job. It just means that someone can cover for you in case of absence, whether for a vacation or sick time.

It’s actually better for the health of the company for employees to be cross-trained so that the company can continue functioning smoothly if one of the links isn’t there.


Now that we’ve broken down why you’re too scared to take vacations, here are the reasons why you really should.

Your career prosperity

Studies show that employees that do not take their earned vacation time are less likely to receive a promotion and earn bonuses compared to their counterparts who did take vacations.

Also taking that vacation is going to boost your morale about the company you work for. You’re going to come back refreshed, with stories to share around the water cooler, and you’re going to feel so much better about your employer and your position.

Increase your productivity

Taking time off helps clear the fog in your head so when you come back, you’re more creative, innovative and more impactful in your work. You will feel recharged, more upbeat and rediscover your motivation for your position.

Reduces stress levels

Stress can be destructive to our bodies and although we may be used to the stress from work and everyday life, doesn’t mean it’s healthy for us. Vacations let you essentially run away from that stress and get a clearer perspective on the situation.

Your brain structure can be altered with chronic exposure to stress, research even shows that women who did not take regular vacations were 3x more likely to experience depression and anxiety.

Improved physical health

Studies have shown that men who vacations regularly are 32% less likely to die from a heart attack and women are 50% less likely to die from a heart attack.

Also, studies show that people who take vacations regularly have a 20% improvement in their sleep quality than those who don’t.

It will also help you maintain if not lose weight. Sitting behind a desk all day and then our phones and TV’s when we get home prevents us from being mobile throughout the day. When you travel, you sightsee, you hike, you’re out and about all day instead of sitting inside staring at a screen and stress eating. Harsh, but you know it’s true.

Strengthen your relationships

Vacationing will help strengthen your relationship to the people who you choose to share that experience with. Whether that’s with your significant other, children, siblings or friends.

These are the experiences and relationships that will last a lifetime.

Now what we’ve covered that, where are you headed on your next vacation?

Jenny KotlyarComment