There are a plethora of studies showing the benefits of taking time off from work:
- Better creativity
- Increased productivity
- Better mental health
- Better physical health
- Lower risk of burnout
- Improved relationships
- Better work-life balance
- More positive work environment
- Lower staff turnover
You wouldn’t let your vehicle run constantly without stopping, refueling, getting the oil changed, tires rotated, or regular maintenance. You make the investment to take care of your vehicle – you should make the investment in taking care of yourself. It’s almost like the warning message on an airplane. The flight attendants advise you “in the event of an emergency, if the oxygen masks come down, put the oxygen mask on yourself first and then assist anyone else.”
Are you taking your vacation days? Do you schedule and reschedule your personal days off? If you aren’t taking your days off this could be a serious red flag for your boss. It brings up certain questions, such as:
- Is he hiding something? He never takes time off.
- Can’t her employees do anything without her?
- If she is always here what would we do if she were hit by a bus, and couldn’t come to work?
- Is he really grooming a replacement?
- Can she really perform? Or does she have to be here all of the time to get her work done?
Now, it is possible that you are a workaholic and have very few outside interests beyond your career. It doesn’t serve your organization well to be the person who has triple the time you can have for paid leave at the end of the year and has to take it by December 31, or lose it. Waiting to take vacation time off is a drain on your co-workers if you end up taking it all at once and you have 4 weeks vacation accrued (over the two-week suggested time off annually).
Don’t flatter yourself into thinking that you can’t afford to take vacation. You might think that your employees can’t function without you, or that the organization can’t operate without you, and worse yet, that no one can handle a crisis but you. If any of these statements sound familiar to you, then “Houston we’ve got a problem.” Thus, you aren’t doing what the organization has hired you to do, run a flowing operation.
A vacation offers a number of bonuses. It gives you an opportunity to get your batteries recharged. You work hard for a reason; get in touch with your reason. Enjoy your home, your family and your hobbies. A new outlook and perspective can enhance your work performance. Bringing a fresh new view to some of the things that happen at work can make you more effective in your position. You need to spend some uninterrupted time with yourself, reassess where you want to be, appreciate the station in life you have currently achieved or create goals to reach new levels in your life.
One of your responsibilities as a contributing team member is to ensure that the organization can continue in your short term absence. Do yourself and the organization a favor, take your vacation time off when scheduled.