~shared by J. Ranner

Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to read up on some of the healthy benefits of deciding to take a vacation.  We sincerely hope that this alone was enough to encourage you that vacations are a good thing, and you should embrace the opportunity to go away and take one.

Yet, I know for a fact that despite all of the scary things that go along with neglecting time off, I still will not get through to some people. So, with that in mind, I will try to appeal to another state of well-being: your career.

I know, I know- I can hear you already. “My job is just way too important. Can’t take any time off. Too bad, so sad- end of story.” Personally, unless your career involves single-handedly saving the world from incoming asteroids or extraterrestrial invasions, I respectfully disagree (And even Superman has the whole Justice League to back him up… no excuses).  

Although, 100% of the blame cannot be pinned on the individual.  Although I am a proud American and know that we became great largely due to hard work, let it be known that the United States is the only industrialized nation in the entire world in which employees are NOT guaranteed any time off by law.  Attempts have been made to mandate at last 2 weeks of paid time off (PTO) but to no avail.  Canadians are given a guaranteed 10 vacation days per year, while Europeans enjoy 20.

Being able to afford a vacation is another issue in itself, yet less of an issue than one may think. To break down the financial abilities to travel:

  • Two-thirds of Americans really do have the means to travel.
  • 50% of Americans have the money to travel and simply choose not to.
  • Only about 27% of Americans routinely take vacations.
So in other words, we’ve become stubborn and guilty. And again, this all goes into affecting your overall health.
So if it’s your career that you are concerned about, I have good news for you. Taking that annual vacation that you deserve might actually in the long-run benefit your career.
“How?” Glad you asked!
  • Traveling (and even better, scrapping the cell phones, laptops and concerns of the outside world) will provide a “respite effect” that will ultimately help a weary brain relax… and allow you to catch up on some much needed sleep!
  • With that clear mind, you can obtain fresh perspectives on things… and along with that, new and creative ideas for when you eventually (but not too quickly) return to the work world.
  • Harnessing new and revitalized energy. John Kiesendahl, president and general manager of Woodloch Pines Resort says  “It amazes me every time, I watch families arrive at Woodloch tired and stressed but when I greet them at breakfast before they check out they have a renewed spirit, are re-energized and ready to get back to work.”
And the benefits aren’t necessarily limited to employees.  Employers who are willing to let their employees take some time off are rewarded with sharper and happier workers- studies by the
U.S. Travel Association have found that travelers tend to perform at least 25% higher in vigilance tests after returning from break. Tired and stressed employees will ultimately cost employers in mistakes- plus studies have found that workers achieve almost as much in a 40 hour week than they would in a 50 hour week- the “burnout burden” hurts everyone.
So the next time you’re considering getting away, you now have even more reasons to say “yes.” No more sorry excuses. Have that talk with your bosses, level with them, and make the rational decision.  And I hope this article provided a few more compelling arguments for you to strengthen your case!