employee wellbeing

Why Your Employees Need to Get Away!

Meghan Hatalla

Benovate’s Expert Blogger

Meghan Hatalla

Benovate’s Expert Blogger

Empower your employees to take vacations and create a healthier work environment.

Time off is essential to workplace wellbeing. Period.

This is hardly earth-shattering news. Anyone can attest to the value of vacations, whether they’ve flown to a beach resort or indulged in a staycation at home. It’s good for employee health, of course, and there are plenty of benefits from a business perspective as well (and for the economy). And yet, US employees are notorious for *not* taking their full vacation allotment.

Project: Time Off compiles statistics and research on “the lost week” or the average amount of vacation time that Americans leave on the table every year. Here are some of the top reasons organizations should encourage employees to use up their vacation days.

Here’s Why You Should Encourage Your Employees to Get Away:

An organizational culture that embraces and encourages vacations is a healthy culture.

A healthy workplace culture leads to increased productivity from employees, lower turnover, and overall fewer costs in onboarding and rehiring. Encouraging vacation is just one part of this, though – the real benefit is in enabling employees to feel comfortable to take vacation.

Cross-train employees as appropriate to lessen the impact on others and avoid piles of work upon their return. Encourage planning vacations in advance to ensure appropriate staffing levels. Some organizations put a stigma on vacation; don’t be one of them.

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Everyone needs time to reboot and re-calibrate outside the office.

Everybody needs a little time away, and research shows a surprising impact on career growth. Project: Time Off found that, among those who took fewer than 10 days off, less than 35% received a raise or bonus. And those that took 10 or more days off had a 65% chance of receiving a raise or bonus.

While the exact correlation is somewhat unclear, it is clear that time out of the office improves clarity in thinking and idea generation. It’s like the shower thought thing, but on a larger scale. If money is an issue, remember that it’s not necessary to plan some grand tour overseas for a vacation. A staycation of sleeping in and catching up on home projects (or Netflix – no judgement here) is just as beneficial.

Strengthening relationships with family and friends is an important part of the employee wellness equation.

When your employees have balance in their personal lives, it reduces the stress and negativity they bring in to the office. Taking time to reconnect with the important people in their lives generates positivity and better health.

How does your organization encourage employee vacations?

One of the best ways an organization can help employees take their vacation days is to encourage vacation planning. Part self-efficacy, part contingency planning, this allows employees to coordinate their schedules and gives organizations proper notice. Utilize techniques like encouraging employees to block off their calendars in advance, and encourage managers to remind employees to talk about potential vacations.

While the overall steps to building this positive workplace culture around vacations might seem small, they add up to something larger. Finding ways to influence worker and employee well-being don’t always have to be large, sweeping changes. Sometimes it’s just starting the conversation.

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Benovate believes in making better health accessible to everyone customized to each unique member – our mission is to engage, educate and empower members to make appropriate health and lifestyle changes. Inspiring a healthy, total well-being.

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