Yesterday was the first official day of summer and, for most of us, that means more vacations!  While at first you may think that more vacation time means more employee time-off and, therefore, less work being done but it can actually be quite the opposite.  Taking time off has been shown to improve productivity at work.  Elizabeth Scott, M.S., discusses the value of vacations in her article, “The Importance of Vacations, for Stress Relief, Productivity and Health.“  She lists seven effects that vacations have. These include:

  1. Vacations Promote Creativity: A good vacation can help us to reconnect with ourselves, operating as a vehicle for self-discovery and helping us get back to feeling our best.
  2. Vacations Stave Off Burnout: Workers who take regular time to relax are less likely to experience burnout, making them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested counterparts.
  3. Vacations Can Keep Us Healthy: Taking regular time off to ‘recharge your batteries’, thereby keeping stress levels lower, can keep you healthier.
  4. Vacations Promote Overall Wellbeing: One study found that three days after vacation, subjects’ physical complaints, their quality of sleep and mood had improved as compared to before vacation. These gains were still present five weeks later, especially in those who had more personal time and overall satisfaction during their vacations.
  5. Vacations Can Strengthen Bonds: Spending time enjoying life with loved ones can keep relationships strong, helping you enjoy the good times more and helping you through the stress of the hard times. In fact, a study by the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services found that women who took vacations were more satisfied with their marriages
  6. Vacations Can Help With Your Job Performance: As the authors of the above study suggest, the psychological benefits that come with more frequent vacations lead to increased quality of life, and that can lead to increased quality of work on the job
  7. Vacations Relieve Stress in Lasting Ways: It should come as no surprise that vacations that include plenty of free time bring stress relief, but research shows that a good vacation can lead to the experience of fewer stressful days at least five weeks later! That means that vacations are the gift to yourself that keep on giving.

I have experienced many of these effects after going on vacation and look forward to re-charging a couple of times this summer.  If you don’t already have some vacation time scheduled, I hope you to start planning today! And encourage your employees to do so as well.  We can all benefit from taking a break and coming back with reduced stress, re-charged batteries and a renewed attitude.

Happy Summer, from BambooHR!