It’s summertime, and if you’re not thinking about sand, sunscreen and siestas, you should be. Research says that taking time away from work is important and vacation time offers real benefits for both you and your company. 

Benefits For You

There is ample evidence showing that taking vacations is good for your health. Among other advantages, studies have indicated that vacations reduce stress levels, lower risk of heart disease and fight depression, and they may even help to improve sleep habits. In fact, according to this study cited in The New York Times, just the anticipation of a vacation has been shown to boost your happiness for up to eight weeks. 

Benefits for Your Employer

In part due to the tight labor market, recent trends show that employers are getting more creative with vacation policies. For example, according to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans’ 2018 Employee Benefits Survey, while just 3% of companies offer unlimited vacation time, more employers are offering paid floating holidays, allowing employees to “buy” additional days, or letting them donate the value of unused days to charity. And now, 24% of employers offer leave donation, allowing employees to donate time off to employees in need.  

These trends are all part of the push to define a unique employer brand experience – one that shows how companies value not just the work a potential employee can produce, but the whole human being that they are hiring.

Part of a Workplace Culture That Thrives on Employee Well-Being

While strong vacation policies offer a clear recruiting advantage, employers also benefit once employees are on board. For example, studies link strong vacation policies with a corporate culture that promotes a more engaged, creative and productive workforce. Modern companies understand the value of humanizing the workplace, by celebrating everything their employees bring to the workplace. By offering their people vacation time, and encouraging them to use it, companies are building an inclusive culture that can ultimately better serve their customers.

At my firm, Notion Consulting, we value the unique personal and professional experiences that each of our employees bring to our team and clients.  Time to recharge helps us to be more inspired and engaged, ultimately contributing to more thoughtful and creative solutions for our clients. We make time for, and talk about, our personal lives. We are ‘whole people’ at work not just professionals.  This is a big part of the community we have created together, which empowers us to be our best selves.

Taking time off is clearly a win for both you and your company. If your employer is one of the 97% of U.S. companies who offer vacation time, and you haven’t already planned your getaway, now is the time.  Do something that challenges you, inspires you, rests you, amuses you, teaches you…whatever it is that you need to recharge…do it!  Use this time to nurture YOU and bring inspiration back into your work.