Why Your Vacation Makes You a Better Employee

Imagine you are sitting on a beach. The warm sand sifts gently between your toes. Your sun-screened body is glistening in the summer sun. The rhythmic sound of waves crashing on the shore are lulling you off to sleep. You are just about to drift away, when suddenly your cell phone rings. Work is calling. Do you answer or let it go to voice mail?

On average 61% of U.S. employees, took the call! According to Glassdoor’s Q1 2014 Employment Confidence Survey; when employees do take paid time off, three in five (61%) admit doing some work. Amazingly, Glassdoor also reports that the average U.S. employee only takes half of his/her eligible paid time off.

Do you use little, if any, of your paid vacation days? Do you habitually check in when in while you are away?  Has it been a while since you had a real vacation get-a-way? As it turns out you aren’t doing yourself any favors by not using those vacation days to mentally “vacate” from work.

Taking a break from work can actually boost your career and make you a better employee. Have a look at the benefits of tuning out work while you take a real vacation.

You’ll feel more excited about work

Taking time off allows you to de-stress and recharge. You will you return to work with renewed enthusiasm. That energized feeling will last at least a few days post-vacation.

You’ll have more ah-ha moments

When our brains are rested, we find the missing links that solve nagging problems. Just like when you have a shower epiphany, all of a sudden everything becomes clear where it was puzzling before.

You’ll avoid feeling overworked

If you set boundaries between work time and personal time, you won’t feel like you are working all the time.

You’ll show your worth at work

If you coordinate with your coworkers and leave clear instructions on your projects, it proves you are organized and proactive. You’ll show your boss that you can be trusted to get things done on time.

You’ll be healthier overall

One of the most compelling reasons to take advantage of your vacations comes from a long-term study about cardiovascular disease. The study showed that people who took infrequent vacations were more likely to have cardiovascular disease.

So take charge of your well-being, my friends! Take full advantage of all your earned vacation time. Give yourself the rejuvenation break you deserve. Learn to unplug and disconnect from work when you are off-the-clock. It may take some practice to let go and really enjoy YOUR time. Creating work-life balance may not happen overnight, but it can happen, your body needs it to happen, and it is going to be great!