Why Your Boss Should Be Thanking You for Taking that Vacation

P:TO Takeaway

You’re not helping anybody by staying in the office all summer. Enjoying a much-needed vacation will benefit both you and your employer.


You’ve probably heard the adage, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” A lesser-known version goes like this: “All work and no play makes Jack and his coworkers hopelessly unproductive.” Whichever version you choose, the message is still the same: a little rest and relaxation can go a long way towards helping you function at full capacity.

Chances are, this isn’t breaking news to you. You’ve likely already experienced the mental recharge that accompanies a relaxing vacation, and, while it may be tough to head back to work after a tranquil week on the beach, you do so better equipped to find solutions to all the problems your job throws at you.

That being said, it’s not always easy for employees to justify taking vacations—especially ones that last a week or more. According to State of American Vacation 2018, fear of looking replaceable, heavy workloads and lack of coverage at work are just some of the barriers that can keep employees in their cubicles all summer long. The problem is, your overall productivity might actually decrease if you adopt such an “all work, no play” lifestyle.

O.C. Tanner, a company that specializes in employee recognition, recently surveyed more than 1,000 employees across the country about their vacation habits. Two-thirds of respondents said that they regularly take a vacation of at least one week during the summer months. Of these vacation-goers, 70 percent say they are highly motivated to contribute to the success of the organization, in contrast with just 55 percent of employees who do not regularly take a week-long vacation.

Similarly, 63 percent of vacation-goers say they feel a sense of belonging at the company where they currently work, as opposed to only 43 percent of respondents who stay home from vacation. The gap between vacation-goers and summer-long workers is similar for respondents who claim to have a strong desire to be working for their organization one year from now (65% to 43%) and respondents who say their organization has a reputation for being a good employer whose people do great work (65% to 46%).  This is in-line with our own findings that employees who feel supported in taking vacation are happier with their job, company, relationships, and health, allowing them to bring their best selves to the job when they are on the clock.

We all know the excuses. “What will my boss think if I just check out for a whole week?” “What if something comes up while I’m gone?” “Everyone else is too busy to cover my workload.” These short-sighted rationales might end up costing your organization in the long run. Look around your workplace. Are there a few too many dull Jacks and Jills in need of a break? Are you one of them? If so, it might be time to finally take that vacation. Trust us, your boss will thank you in the long run.


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