Why You Should Make Sure Employees Take Time Off

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Does your company have that employee who brags about stockpiling vacation or PTO hours, or how they are so dedicated to their job they just never take vacation?

Tell that person to go on vacation, take time off, and to stay away from responding to email. Immediately. No one wins when employees don’t take time off.

“Taking vacations is correlated with less stress, decreased absenteeism, and increased job satisfaction,” says Praveen Puri, President, Puri Consulting LLC, and an expert in coaching both teams and individuals for high-performance and innovation.

According to a survey conducted by Pertino, more than half (59%) of Americans regularly check email, take a phone call and more during vacation. And 36% work at least once a day.

That culture needs to stop, now, and your managers can lead the change.  

“Managers need to lead by example,” says Bill Driscoll, district president of Accountemps. “If employees see their boss never takes a vacation or gets away from the office, they are more likely to follow suit. You have to live by the culture you are trying to create.”

Tel Ganesan, president and CEO of Farmington Hills, Mich.-based Kyyba, Inc., a global IT, engineering and professional staff augmentation company, offers these five tips for employers who need to remind staff about the importance of taking time off and vacation:

  1. Employees need to give their brains a break. When they do, they avoid “burn out” and can be more productive and creative.
  2. Encouraging time off increases employee retention as they will be happier and tend to have more positive feelings towards their employer.
  3. If you pay employees for time off they did not take, it affects your bottom line.
  4. When an employ does not take time off to rest, it wears their body down making them more susceptible to illness and other health conditions. This in turn could cause more worker absence and insurance issues.
  5. It encourages independence amongst employees, as well as collaboration with a variety of colleagues. When an individual does not take time off, others become more dependent on them

Driscoll provides these additional tips for creating a vacation-taking culture in the office:

  • Create a clear vacation policy and encourage your staff to use that time away from the office. Some companies choose to put a minimum number of days an employee must take to ensure staff is taking time off. The clearer the policy, the more likely your team members will take a vacation.
  • Often times, the culture of an organization is set by its leaders’ behaviors. A workaholic culture within an organization can be set by behaviors of the management team. This is another reason it’s important for managers to lead by example and use their vacation days.

When employees are absent, it actually benefits others in ways that often get overlooked, says Puri.

“It promotes team cross-functionality, and forces individuals to share knowledge with co-workers,” says Puri.

And it in the long run, it promotes, health, wellness, and happiness.

“Few people can be at their best without taking regular time to rest and recharge,” says Driscoll.

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