Why you should encourage employees to take more vacation time

A new study from Bankrate reveals that over half of all American workers who receive paid time off aren’t using all of it. As 2016 comes to a close 52% of workers still have an average of 7 days unused paid vacation days. There are a variety of factors as to why workers choose not to use their vacation days, but you have a vested interest in them actively using this offered reprieve from work. Here is why you should encourage the use of this time.

Healthier employees

Stress at work is a common and natural thing. You are not at fault for employees occasionally feeling stressed if it’s at a reasonable rate. However, stress can have serious effects on both someone’s mental and physical health. One of the most effective ways to deal with stress is some simple time away to recoup and reassess.

Increased productivity

Productivity doesn’t mean hours worked. Being productive requires a certain amount of focus and energy that easily diminishes over time when employees are stressed. By taking time away from work, employees can come back to work refreshed and get back into the swing of things with a renewed energy.

Improved employee retention

Employees who don’t use their time off are more likely to suffer from stress and eventually suffer from burnout. That being said, a healthy and happy employee is more likely to stay longer at their job, so encourage time away.

It can be costly

While you should be focused on the benefits to the employee, there is also a monetary motive to making sure this time is taken, if you pay your employees for vacation time they didn’t use. A study by Oxford Economics done in 2014 found that companies on average owe each employee $1,898 in accrued paid time off.