In Alabama, we’ve just had our tax-free weekend for parents to buy all the back-to-school stuff their kids need. Every year, it’s the signal the summer is, for all practical purposes, over. So, where did you take your vacation this year? Did you even take one?
If you didn’t, you should have. If you can, you still need to. Vacations are much more important than you think. Here’s why:
First of all, those who take vacations live 20 percent longer than those who don’t. Hard to argue with logic like that, huh? The net positive effect of just getting away is almost too big to measure, because it impacts virtually every aspect of your physical, emotional and psychological well-being. Rest? Of course. Stress relief? Check. Heightened sense of well-being? Absolutely.
The benefits of vacation go a bit deeper than just having some R & R. Vacations allow you to engage in activities you don’t usually participate in, which experts say gives your brain an opportunity to use different pathways than normal. This allows for improved brain cell growth, and will give you the opportunity to return to work re-energized. So, if you’ve been missing that creative spark, or find yourself losing the ability to solve problems effectively, getting away for a while might do the trick.
If you’re there all the time, your people won’t have the opportunity to make executive level decisions and grow as employees. They also might think you don’t trust them to handle things in your absence, which could damage employee morale. Get out of the office for a few days and give your workers the chance to spread their wings a little and see what it’s like to be in your shoes for a while. You’ll come back with a new perspective, and they’ll have a better understanding of your problems and concerns.
If you’re still hesitant to get away, you should ask yourself why. According to researchers, there’s no evidence that working yourself (or your employees) to death gives your company a competitive advantage. Oh, and if you begrudgingly give your employees their time off and grumble when they’re gone, just remember they’ll be healthier, happier and more dedicated when they return.