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Why Vacation Matters & Why You Should Take One

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It is not all that surprising that in our tech-crazy world vacation has somehow become a completely foreign concept to many employees. Aside from micro-managing bosses and restrictive paid time off policies, it is a fact that employees are taking less time for leisure and instead are staying connected year-round without a vacation.  In the U.S., this is a confirmed trend. One of the only nations that doesn’t require employers to offer paid time off, almost 60% of U.S. workers didn’t even use up their days by the end of 2011. NPR reported that a study by the Families and Work Institute found less than half of U.S. employees take the full vacation. While this may mean more bodies in the office – what effect does the inability to escape have on employees? 

Some studies suggest that an employee’s health can start to decline, tensions may increase at home, and productivity can decrease – all of which spell trouble for an employer.The best employees are happy, healthy, relaxed ones so even though the work may pile up a bit in their absence, ensuring employees get a break at least once a year is a key component of good management. 

Some companies are even turning to paid time off with a paid vacation to recruit and retain top talent. However, these employee benefits come with two conditions – employees have to travel somewhere and they are not allowed to do any work while they’re away. 

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What the employee chooses to do with the time off is really their own personal business but regardless, taking a vacation, staycation, or even a long weekend can be incredibly positive for recharging the mind and body. ‘Work to Live’ author Joe Robinson points out that men who vacation decrease their risk of heart attack by 30% while women who vacation at least once a year cut their risk by 50%. While employees freshly off vacation may need a day or two to adjust, their productivity will not only return but also increase – the ultimate employer benefit.