We don’t expect our iPhone batteries to last for days at a time (we wish they would, but we don’t expect it), so why do we think we can work week after week without recharging?
The average U.S. employee only takes about 50 percent of their available vacation time. In fact, most take only half of their allotted vacation time. As a result, many workers feel overworked and stressed out.
Vacations are good for people. They can reduce stress, positively impact heart health, and contribute to a good night’s sleep. And, they’re good for business. Internal research from audit firm EY, reveals employees who use more vacation days do better work – at least according to their performance reviews. Another firm, Boston Consulting Group, found forced time off leads to higher productivity.
Vacation has another key benefit – critical for both employee and employer: it fuels creativity. Check out this cool fact from Inc. magazine: “A survey of 1,000 entrepreneurs revealed … with regard to startups and the bright ideas they’re built upon … an incredible 20% were thought up while on vacation.”
Perhaps this is because creativity requires introspection. And it’s near impossible to be introspective when you’re checking Outlook, and Slack, and Facebook, and Messenger, and text messages, and Instagram, and Snap, and you have three new LinkedIn notifications, six deadlines, and maybe even (gasp!) a voicemail.
So go ahead unplug and recharge. Your career, your clients, and your company are depending on it.
(How creative do you think this post was? I came up with the idea during my last vacation. I think maybe I should have taken a few more days off…)