Relax to Recharge: How Vacation Improves Productivity

Welcome back!

Welcome back?” you may be asking. “Welcome back from what?”

If you’re a US worker, the joys of the long Labor Day weekend are likely a long forgotten memory by now. But if you relaxed and decompressed during your most recent days off work, the weekend may still be having a positive impact on your output at the office, and your overall health. Aside from the societal rewards of commemorating historical events with time off for workers, there are some other very practical reasons why we need holidays to recharge and reboot.


Play the long game

Earlier this year, Oxford Economics produced a study that found the benefits of employees taking time off are well recognized across organizations. Not only did employees report immediately improved productivity, they also reported longer lasting effects such as a better attitude around the office and improved personal and social lives – both of which can lead to improved self-esteem and greater confidence. Confidence and self-esteem are traits needed to leverage many of the leadership skills required for advancement in a fast-paced environment.  The trickledown effect of appropriate work-life balance could make you and your projects more successful for years to come.



Disconnect to reconnect

Recently German car manufacturer Daimler instituted what it calls an “email holiday” – deleting work emails that interrupt employee vacation is an organization that promotes mindful, meaningful and balanced lives both online and off – by encouraging people to unplug. Why? Taking time away from digital devices can help people reconnect with coworkers and friends on a face-to-face basis in ways that we may not be doing when mobile phones and email are ever-present. When we go on vacation – and importantly, put the phones and devices away – it can help provide perspective and improve person-to-person connections by affording us opportunities to practice the communicative arts of active listening, eye contact and verbal response.



Sick employees can’t be productive

Finally, it should go without saying that sickness is a major detractor from productivity. We also know that stress correlates strongly with illnesses ranging from diabetes and depression, to dental maladies and ulcers – even cancer. Taking time away from the office is as much a preventative step as it is a curative one. When we go on vacation, the time spent away from our daily lives promotes creativity, provides badly needed rest and recharges out minds to get back to a healthy lifestyle.



How about you? Have you been more productive this week? Were you able to take a vacation? When is your next vacation planned? Tell us your stories of rejuvenation and enhanced productivity on Facebook or Twitter!


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