Vacation. Just hearing the word prompts the brain to wander through the depths of your imagination. The Bahamas, Rocky Point, San Diego…. or maybe just lying out by the pool in your backyard. Regardless of where your ideal vacation spot is, it is important to realize that there are significant benefits to getting away from work for a little chill time.
There are numerous benefits to taking time off. Stronger workplace morale, higher productivity and more employee retention just to name a few. So, with such clear benefits laid out, why is it that Americans leave so many paid days off behind? Much of the blame is placed on the shoulders of management across America.
A study conducted by the U.S Travel Association found that 17% of managers considered employees who take all their leave to be less dedicated. Another 40% indicated that while their management supported time off, their heavy workload prohibited them from finding the time to vacation. In addition, 37% are fearful that they will come back to a mountain of work. All this stockpiled time-off creates problems for the various companies across the nation as well. As employees save their vacation time, financial liability for companies grow since most won’t use their earned days until they “cash out” when they leave the company.
The same study by the U.S Travel Associate averaged that Americans that didn’t use 3.2 days of paid time off, equates to 429 million of unused days across our country per year. The findings point out that if employees took just one additional day off over the course of the year, we would generate $73 billion more dollars in the U.S economy.
Furthermore, close to 25% of Americans received no paid vacation or paid holidays. The United States is the only country that doesn’t require employers to offer paid vacation or paid holiday time.
According to The Journal of the American Medical Association, those that take annual vacations are 32% less likely to die from heart disease than those that do not take a vacation. Overall, there is an increase risk of coronary heart disease or heart attacks in those that do not take vacations.
Another health benefit is a person’s mental health. Taking a vacation contributes to more positive emotions, fewer negative feelings, and less depression. People that take regular vacations also feel less tense, have higher energy levels, and feel a higher sense of fulfillment.
Take A Vacation
Many of the positive benefits of taking time off can be achieved without going on an expensive and elaborate vacation. Perhaps you have lived in your hometown for years but never went out to explore the local sights. Simply buying a guidebook in your area can point you in the direction of great ways to explore the place you call home. Or for some, buying a new book to read or writing a new journal can be enough to step out of the routine of work. The point is – give yourself a vacation so your brain can explore new experiences and take a much-needed mental break.