Leadership PSA: Take Your Vacation

Asian woman stretching arms in the woods

Have you taken time off this summer? Have your employees? With summer winding down, consider this your friendly reminder to schedule some time for yourself away from work. Put on your out of office. Leave your work laptop at home. Don’t be available to check emails in the mornings. Don’t make yourself accessible by phone. And encourage your staff and employees to do the same. Don’t email/text/call with the business. It can wait until their return.

If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it is that we all need time to unplug and unwind. Time away can even make us more effective and productive employees and leaders.

It’s not only for personal well-being. Taking off greatly benefits your company’s bottom line. According to Corporate Wellness Magazine, the company benefits of work-life balance include:

  • increased productivity
  • improved recruitment and retention
  • lower rates of absenteeism
  • reduced overhead
  • an improved customer experience
  • a more motivated, satisfied workforce.

There is even evidence that taking vacation time can save lives.

Despite these reasons, employees still avoid taking their vacation time out of fear, guilt, and workplace pressures, according to SHRM, even though both employees and employers “ are increasingly aware that if they take time off, they will perform better at work.”

So, what can you as an employer do? The Harvard Business Review gives a few tips on encouraging your staff to take time off, including providing clarity, redefining what ‘vacations’ look like, demonstrating care, activating your team, and leading by example. (Yes, take your vacations too!)

So again, let this serve as a reminder. Close the laptop. Silence your phone and take time away from the office (even your home office) to rest, recharge and rejuvenate. Who knows? It may help to spark that creativity you’ve been looking for to complete that important project.