When was the last time you took a vacation? Is vacation time an approachable subject at your workplace? While Americans are known for their strong work ethic and low amount of paid vacation days, the statistics from 2014 were still surprising.
TIME reported that approximately 40 percent of Americans didn’t use a single day of their paid vacation time last year. In addition to that, Forbes reported that the majority of those who did take time off, admitted they were constantly checking their work email and found it very difficult to relax.
Vacation shouldn’t be an aspiration or something to get to next year. Research shows that there are a number of benefits to both employees and companies when employees use their vacation time. These benefits include better health, increased focus, stronger relationships and a more productive workplace.
Here are 5 great reasons why employees should take advantage of their paid time off:
Vacations boost your health
It’s no secret that stress at work can take a toll on your heart, but did you know that taking a vacation once or twice a year can help prevent heart disease? The Framingham Heart Study showed that participants who took regular vacations were 30 percent less likely to die of heart disease and also had an easier time sleeping and losing weight.
Vacations inspire new thinking
Upon returning from vacation, you are likely to have more energy to catch up on your work. This new-found energy can help you think more creatively and form new perspectives, according to CNN.
“When you’re in the middle of a problem, it’s sometimes hard to untangle yourself from it to think about it clearly. Similarly, many people have epiphanies when they travel because they can view their life back home from a more detached, outsider’s view.”
Vacations energize you
Everyone needs a little pick-me-up from time to time. When coffee isn’t cutting it anymore, The New York Times suggests a vacation.
“The importance of restoration is rooted in our physiology. Human beings aren’t designed to expend energy continuously,” The Times reported. “Rather, we’re meant to pulse between spending and recovering energy. Vacation helps us recover and reset.”
Vacations enrich your personal and work relationships
While vacations come with their own set of stresses at times, Project Time Off reported that 54 percent of households that set aside time to plan out the use of paid time off were happier in almost every category measured in their survey.
“It is always good to return home with great memories and stories to share. When I return to work, my head is clear, I am more focused and I can say I truly missed my work family,” said Dee Studt, Administrative Manager, AIM.
Vacations keep your workplace fresh
Project Time off also reported that when employees return to the workplace after vacation they bring new insights, ideas and mass amounts of productivity.
“Employees that have balance in their lives are typically the easiest to work with,” Dr. Kandace Miller, President & CEO, AIM said, “They are reliable, innovative and great team players.”
As July comes to an end, remember that it is not too late to plan a weekend getaway with your family. When you use your vacation time it will benefit your health, thought processes, personal relationships and your workplace.
*Photos courtesy of AIM employees