School is out, pools are open, and kids are enjoying the beginning of a three-month summer vacation. Looks like kids may know the secret to success.
While kids count down the days until they get to sleep late and play outside, working adults avoid vacations like the plague. And it’s getting worse.
According to Glassdoor, only 23% of American workers use 100% of their vacation time. The majority of workers use only 54% of their vacation time, and more than 66% work and check in with the office while on vacation. Millennials have the hardest time disconnecting with more than 70% checking in while on vacation, and fewer and fewer people disconnect completely.
Being over-worked, over-committed, and over-stressed has become a bizarre badge of honor and an unrealistic way of life. The truth is that adults need to recharge and reenergize just as much as kids do, but somehow vacations get pushed to the bottom of the priority list.
There are several reasons why, women especially, avoid, delay, and minimize taking time away from the office. Some fear falling far behind in their workload and not being able to catch up. Some believe they will become “unneeded” and obsolete…an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. Some feel guilty about over-burdening their co-workers with additional tasks and responsibilities. And some have a false sense of importance that their workplace will completely fall apart in their absence.
These are all just excuses.
The truth is that most women lead very busy and complicated lives and are desperately in need of a real vacation. As an executive career coach, I hear professional women talk about how tired and overwhelmed they are, how they struggle to maintain a positive attitude, how they have become unproductive and unmotivated, and how they are on the verge of complete burnout.
If this doesn’t scream, “I need a vacation!!!”, I don’t know what does.
Vacations not only benefit the individual, but also the entire team and workplace. So, if you’re still resisting booking a trip or planning a stay-cation, because of a myriad of excuses, then think of how unplugging, disconnecting, and taking a real vacation will help everyone involved.
Here are 10 Reasons Why Vacations Should be Mandatory:
- Creates a stronger and healthier corporate culture when leaders set a “real vacation” example and encourage everyone to take well-deserved time off
- Promotes a happier, healthier, and more well-balanced workforce
- Increases employee retention and loyalty
- Decreases burnouts and breakdowns
- Enhances engagement, excitement, and energy
- Catapults creativity and productivity, and increases scores on performance reviews by 10%
- Strengthens the team dynamic and provides an opportunity for the team to develop more diverse skills and experiences
- Allows time to reconnect and deepen other relationships
- Reduces stress and the risk of a heart attack
- Provides distance and a fresh perspective to analyze problems and seek innovative solutions
Whether it’s a big family trip to Disneyworld or a stay in a little cabin on the lake, taking a break and taking time off is critical to your mental health, physical health, and professional health. Not only does a vacation expand your mind, but it can also expand your career.
Instead of thinking of vacation days as merely a suggestion, think of those days as a mandatory “must-do”. Take the time, book a trip, and Woman UP!