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Increase Work Productivity by Going on Vacation

It is of underrated importance for workplace employees to take time off from work and break out of their 9 – 5 routine for better productivity. And while paid vacations are common in the working world, only 75% of Americans utilize it. Blame “hustle culture” and our modern prioritization of general “busyness.” However, when your senses begin to dull, you might want to think twice about planning your next vacation.

That’s because being completely cut off from work allows you to experience a lifestyle that doesn’t revolve around one specific area. Your mind is free to wander, resulting in a newfound level of inspiration that you might not even notice. This is also how better ideas arise when you look at the same problem from a different point of view after some time.

See the positive effects of taking a vacation can do for you. And how to prepare your team for some much needed time off.

We’re All Children At Heart

Whenever September comes around, students in most countries are returning to school with new stories to tell and diverse expectations. They are ready to start their academic year with a new sense of self, confidence and enthusiasm. Not to mention that they are well-rested after experiencing a change of scenery. They might have been to camp, gone abroad or even did nothing and stayed at home. Whatever it was, the school-day routine was broken and that allowed them a breath of fresh air.

Adults on the other hand don’t have it so easy. Understandably, with bills to pay, clients to meet, deals to close, who has the time to lie on a Caribbean beach sipping margaritas all day long? But according to science there’s some strong evidence to suggest that maybe it’s what you should be doing.

Correlation Between Vacations and Productivity

Across the world, in companies big, medium and small, if you have been working on something everyday for the past year, it is easy for you to slip up on the little things. Taking a break from work include cutting off from work completely.

In a 2014 survey, 34% of senior managers in the US said that the biggest mistake that they made when they took their last holiday was that they didn’t take enough time off. In another survey, 61% said that they continued working while on holiday. 25% said that it was that they couldn’t take their mind off work, while 22% said that it was that they checked in at the office too much.

On the other hand, studies show there’s a strong link between individuals who take their vacation times and how well they perform at their jobs. That’s because those who took more than 10 of their vacation days per year, had a 65.4% chance of receiving a raise or bonus. It pays to take a break!

Why Take A Holiday From Work

Taking a vacation can add a boost to productivity in the workplace. Here's a few reasons to take a break from work every now and then.

Here’s a few more reasons why you should encourage your team members to take a break:

  1. R&R
    Taking time off from work allows you to rest and recharge both physically and mentally. Vacations provide an opportunity to relax, reduce stress levels, and alleviate burnout. When it is time to go back to work, a well-rested worker is now happier, more relaxed and more inspired.
  2. Gain a new POV
    Stepping away from your regular work routine and environment can help you gain new perspectives. Experiencing different cultures, environments, and activities during a vacation can stimulate creativity and inspire fresh ideas. This newfound perspective can be applied to your work, leading to innovative solutions and improved productivity.
  3. Boost in focus and concentration
    Continuous work without breaks can lead to decreased focus and concentration over time. By taking a break or a longer holiday, you give yourself a chance to detach from work-related pressures and obligations. This break allows your mind to reset and refocus, improving your ability to concentrate on tasks when you return to work.
  4. Rediscover work-life balance
    Time away from the office provides an opportunity to enhance a person’s work-life balance. When you prioritize time for relaxation, recreation, and spending quality time with family or friends, you create a healthier balance between your personal and professional life. This balance helps prevent burnout, reduces stress, and improves overall well-being, all of which contribute to increased productivity.
  5. Reflection and goal setting
    During a vacation, you may have more time for introspection and reflection. It’s a chance to step back and assess your work, career goals, and priorities. By evaluating your achievements and considering future objectives, you can return to work with a clearer sense of purpose and direction, which can enhance motivation and productivity.

How to Help your Employees Take a Break

Surprisingly many of the studies that found a correlation between vacations and productivity also had some negative things to show. Namely, the stress of taking a holiday can counteract all the positive effects.

More often than not, the quality of a hard-earned holiday is compromised by employers expecting on-holiday employees to perform certain tasks. A 2013 survey showed that 24% to 38% of these tasks included receiving text messages, e-mails and calls from work. 69% said that they will bring at least one work-capable device with them on their holiday.

It is quite impossible to enjoy a good holiday when workers constantly have work tasks on their minds, this is especially true when an on-holiday employee cannot do anything to solve a work problem. This could backfire with employees ending up even more tired and drained by worrying over overworking, as 34% of the same survey says that these workers very responsibly do the work, but not happily. 29% of them say that they end up feeling that their bosses don’t respect their time and 24% do worry about the boundaries of their personal lives.

How To Prepare for A Restful Vacation

However, by following these steps, you can ensure a smooth transition during your vacation, allowing you to relax and recharge without worrying about work-related issues.

Notify your office and team

Inform your office and colleagues about your upcoming vacation, specifying the dates you’ll be away. This helps set clear expectations and allows them to plan accordingly. Consider using tools like Ganttic to create Time Off tasks, making it easy for everyone to view and manage the schedule. And which keeps vacations, work tasks, and events all in one tool.

With Ganttic's Time Off - everyone will see if someone is on vacation, and who can cover for them. Meaning no one will have to work on their holiday!
With Ganttic’s Time Off – everyone will see if someone is on vacation, and who can cover for them.

Organize and delegate tasks

Prior to your vacation, organize your workload and delegate tasks to appropriate team members or colleagues. Clearly communicate the responsibilities and deadlines associated with each task. Utilize a resource planning tool, such as Ganttic, to reassign tasks and book necessary resources seamlessly.

Establish communication guidelines

Create guidelines for communication during your absence. Define different scenarios, including emergencies and non-emergencies, to help your team understand when it’s necessary to contact you and when they should handle things independently. Utilize personalized and private Custom Views, available in tools like Ganttic, to effectively plan and communicate these scenarios.

Manage expectations

Lower the expectations of those who typically rely on you for work-related matters. Communicate that you will be unavailable during your vacation and set realistic expectations regarding response times. Encourage them to seek assistance from designated contacts in your absence. Write a Note in your Ganttic planner armed with your contacts’ info, so you don’t leave them in the lurch.

Leave a Note on Task to inform your manager who's taking over while you're on vacation.
Leave a Note on Task to inform your manager who’s taking over while you’re on vacation.

Take a Well-Deserved Break

The final takeaway from this is that holidays are meant to be relaxing, happy and fun, and that does not equate a loss to your work. Use this year as a chance to reap the benefits of going on holiday. As well as doing the same for your employees.

With Ganttic’s resource planner you can store all your assigned work and holidays in one convenient location. Vacation and PTO is transparent for all your users, so nothing gets scheduled when there’s nobody to cover for the work. Meaning nobody on their holiday needs to break their R&R to finish up a task. Try it out today and ensure that everyone gets the break they deserve.

Enjoy a worry-free vacation!