When was the last time you took time off work? On average, American workers only take half of their paid time off, forfeiting over 212 million vacation days in 2017. Of those that do take vacation time, 60% do some amount of work during that time. Here are some important reasons you should take time off.
1. Stress Reduction – Many people have physical symptoms of stress, including headaches and backaches. When you step away from work, you eliminate a source of stress from your life, which can improve these symptoms. What’s more, the improvements can last for as much as five weeks after you return from your vacation. Vacations can even help reduce your risk for a heart attack!
2. Improved Sleep – Deadlines, long hours, and other work stress can also disrupt your sleep which has a negative effect on your day-to-day performance and your long term health. A few days off can help you get into better sleep habits so you return to work more alert and focused.
3. Greater Productivity – No one can function at 100% all the time. When you feel overworked, often your work suffers in quality and speed. Studies have shown that for every 10 hours of vacation time you take, your work performance can increase by as much as 8%.
4. More Creativity – It can be difficult to think outside the box when you’re trapped in your daily routine. Taking a vacation, or even just lounging at home for a few days, can help boost your mind and allow you to think more creatively when you return to work.
5. Happier Work Environment – Vacations make people happier, and this in turn leads to a happier work environment. Employees who can strike a good work/life balance are more productive and more devoted to their jobs.
Vacation is a time to rest and recharge your body and mind – but only if you actually take it. The benefits are clear, so be sure to book that next vacation soon!