Why Taking Vacations Can Make You Better at Your Job
By Brian Acton
Are you craving a break from the daily grind? Some time to travel, relax on the beach, or just stay at home with a book? You might think your professional responsibilities are too important, but research has shown that vacations can actually make you better and more productive at your job.
Unfortunately, some Americans don’t take advantage of their vacation days - a recent Gallup poll
finding that only six in 10 Americans took a vacation last year. But taking breaks can be essential for a well-balanced career. Here’s why taking vacations can make you better at your job.
- The Importance of Rest
Getting enough sleep on a daily basis is vital to your job performance. Sleep can help you focus on your tasks, avoid burning out, reduce stress, and make fewer mistakes. And while they aren’t as essential as sleep, periodic vacations to unwind and decompress can help you refresh yourself and stay focused at work.
- Opportunities to Spark Creativity
If you’re always interacting with the same coworkers and repeating the same routine, you might be stuck in a psychological rut. Experiencing new places, people, food, and cultures can help you break out of that routine and spark some creativity. You might even return to work with a new perspective or fresh ideas to approach problems.
- Boosted Energy
Taking a vacation is good for your psychological health, helping you reduce stress and get into a calmer mindset. People also report that they return from vacation with greater energy than they had before they left.
Of course, for this to work, you need to have a relaxing vacation. A poorly planned, stressful trip might leave you more run down than you were before you left.
- Higher Productivity
One Harvard Business Review survey found that corporate leaders in countries with greater vacation days are more likely to work faster, focus better, and demand results. The research suggests that those who take vacations accomplish more with the time they have available.
At the very least, you will probably be more efficient and productive during the time leading up to your vacation.
- Career Advancement
People that use their vacation days are more likely to get promoted or receive raises. So if you skip vacations to impress your managers, your strategy may backfire. If taking a vacation makes you a healthier, happier, and more productive employee, then a break can actually help you advance your career.