Ahh summer … a time to catch some sunshine, catch some waves and reconnect with loved ones. We look forward to the warmer months all year and dream of the perfect vacation, but often find ourselves struggling to actualize these plans. This can stem from many different things, such as the associated costs, the need to secure a house/pet/babysitter or something all too common – the fear of taking time off from work. Despite vacation time being readily available and employers encouraging the importance of taking a break, the idea of getting behind on a project or missing an important meeting can feel daunting.
Even if we do take the plunge and book a vacation, we often end up working anyways. A Benefits Canada survey from 2017 found that respondents, “cited several reasons for checking their emails during a vacation, including gaining peace of mind that things were under control (55%), keeping projects moving along (51%), avoiding coming back to extra work (47%) and preventing colleagues from feeling undue stress (25%)” (Benefits Canada, 2017).
The problem with this is we are human – we need time to disconnect and recharge in order to work hard and be our most productive, happy selves. A short list of some of the benefits of utilizing vacation time includes:
- Health – more than just a buzzword, our mental health suffers when we over work ourselves and neglect getting enough rest and personal time. The stress of our everyday lives can grow without taking adequate breaks from work to unplug and lead to health problems, both mental and
- Motivation – rewarding our hard work by taking a trip (or the increasingly popular ‘staycation’) can act as a great motivator to produce quality work as well as do so efficiently. Sometimes the excitement of a break is what it takes to push us to bring a project across the finish line and drive us to keep going.
- Creativity – when we become stagnant, we often lose inspiration. This can prove difficult in the workplace when ideas stop flowing and our work becomes monotonous. Gaining a fresh perspective from a new experience can ignite our senses and create ‘aha’ moments.
- Work-life balance – ensuring we step away from our work and spend time with friends, family or ourselves is essential. Maintaining balance between our jobs and our personal lives helps us both perform our best on the job and be productive both at work and outside of work.
Summertime comes and goes in a flash – if you blink, you just might miss it! So, make the most of your time and your break – whether that looks like catching up on personal tasks, jetting off to the tropics or camping in the great outdoors – and know that enjoying this time will be best for both you and your employment!
Need help reviewing your Vacation Time Policy or your Employee Handbook? Contact Salopek & Associates to connect with one of our HR Consultants specialized in developing people processes and programs that are both legislatively compliant and maximize employee experience and performance.
Benefits Canada. (2017, May 24). 33% of employees don’t unplug from work during vacation: survey. Retrieved from https://www.benefitscanada.com/news/33-of-employees-dont-unplug-from-work-during-vacation-survey-98335