As counterintuitive as it sounds, taking time away from your workplace actually increases the amount and quality of work you get done when you are there. Vacations can make you happier, healthier, and more focused both in and out of the workplace.
Studies have shown that employees feel more creative and 70 percent feel more satisfied with their jobs after vacations. This is due in part to the reduced stress and increased focus that people feel after taking vacations.
There is scientific evidence to support these reports. Vacations reduce stress because they remove people from their everyday stressful situations. Not only that, but symptoms of stress headaches and backaches remained reduced up to five weeks after people took their vacations.
As for in-office productivity, one study showed that for every 10 additional hours of vacation time allotted, end-of-the-year performance reviews improved by 8 percent. Vacations are also an opportunity to catch up on sleep and reduce sleep debt. Sleep deprivation can cause effects similar to drunkenness. Once caught up on sleep, employees are able to operate more efficiently and effectively.
Further, vacations offer us a chance to step back and examine our work, goals, or challenges and reevaluate them. Too often we can become distracted by minutia or hyperfocused on details that don’t matter. Just as an artist steps back to understand his or her painting, so too, we must step back and take a breath in order to maximize our potential.
Eli Hartman-Seeskin, Vitality summer marketing intern