Now and then, we need to take a break. That’s true even at school, during exams, and also during workouts. In everything, we all deserve a break. And employees are no exception. Taking time off from work is essential for every employee. Even better, you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll be more productive when you do.
America is certainly a workaholic nation. Just think about the number of vacation days any ordinary worker is getting every year. Companies are pushing people to work overtime to get better results at work. Considering all this, studies have shown that 55% of employees in America tend to forgo their vacation, making matters worse.
But the merits of vacation can’t simply be ignored. Take, for example, the multi-billionaire employer Richard Branson. Taking things a step further, the savvy entrepreneurs announced that he would give his employees as much time as they want when going on vacation. Plus, they are not required to update their workplace when on vacation. Sounds too good to be true? Branson says that’s how you should treat every employee. Taking a page from him should be wise.
Vacations Lessen Stress
The thing is, you should not take vacations lightly. You should view it with an open mind.
For one, vacations are about taking time to chill and relax. Research showed that taking a break is one great way to deal with stress. One study pointed out that taking a vacation improved the well-being of German middle-managers.
Indeed, vacations make us energetic. It may not look much, but truth be told, relaxation can lead to an immediate impact on health. Specifically, it can energize molecular networks connected to immune function.
Also, by being away from work, you leave the many stressors behind, de-stressing you in the process. Thus, when you come back to work, your mind is rested. Your mental capacity is in full throttle, allowing you to be more effective at work.
Nature Can Bring Back Your Lost Touch
Nature has many benefits that can exceed our expectations. Even a short vacation can help mend our lost touch. For example, going on an organized National Park tour and exploring outdoor adventures is one way to destress.
Being one with nature helps focus and bring back our lost productivity. Also, it helps lower our stress hormones and reduces the risk of anxiety and depression.
A study conducted on students by the University of Michigan proves exactly this. Students were divided to either walk on the busy streets or stroll in a nature-filled garden. After which, they were made to take an exam.
What group do you think did better? Students who went to the garden gave outstanding exam results.
Another study had participants take a 10-minute stroll with nature three times a week. Participants were not allowed to jog or do calisthenics. It was plain walking. The result? After saliva swabs were taken to measure cortisol, the stress hormone, researchers found out cortisol diminished by as much as 10 percent.
Taking Time Off Helps Boost Your Creativity
Most companies prefer an individual full of imagination and creativity. It is one of the most important characteristics of an employee. But what if the mere act of working gradually makes creativity wither?
Kyung Hee Kim, a researcher and the author of “The Creativity Challenge” said that many of us, especially younger generations are facing a “creativity crisis”. This means that our creativity scores are dropping every day as employees are mostly overworked.
Employees are specialized in their field of work. This means that not only does it make one chip creativity little by little in his line of work but it also fails to open up creativity in other areas.
But this is where having a vacation is timely. It can bring back creativity. For one, going to other places disconnected from social media increases 50% of your creativity. In turn, this leads to greater productivity at work.
Max Your Vacation: Go Out
Most people often fail to realize that vacation does not entail watching TV and browsing through social media. This means that lazing around on your bed is not necessarily a vacation. Instead, exploring nature and going on an adventure outside your daily routine should bid you well.
So here’s the million-dollar question. When will you decide to pack up and take a vacation? Truly, this is not the time to indulge in delayed gratification. Putting off vacations and overworking does not make you a better employee. It only lessens your productivity.
In this regard, Sir Richard Branson is right. He’s telling the world that the best employees are those that have been given the best vacations. And that should be your cue to start planning one.