Everyone agrees that taking some time off is essential. However, it must be acknowledged that we’re living in an era where performance and productivity are key and sometimes come at the expense of our work-life balance. Some employees, like their bosses, are not all that keen on taking vacation time. If you’re one of them, you should change your perspective!
Less and less vacation time
A CROP-CRHA survey revealed that Quebec workers are taking less and less vacation time. In 2013, they were allowing themselves 2.3 weeks off, on average. In 2015, it was only two weeks.
But wait, that’s not all… Two out of every five employees said that they stay in touch with their workplace while on holiday. 61% of them are unable to switch off because of personal interest. As for the others, some (27%) mention an inability to delegate, 14% say it’s because of their corporate culture, and 9% say it’s because of pressure from their immediate supervisor. This means that half of all workers stay plugged in during vacations and not by choice… That’s alarming!
Vacation time is essential
There are only benefits to vacation time. Vacations are a simple, cost-effective way of keeping your employees healthy, productive and motivated. Side benefits include:
- Better psychological balance and lower risk of depression and burnout
- An opportunity to reconnect with friends and family
- Reduced presenteeism in your organization.
Create a culture that promotes vacation time
Including a section on vacation time in the employee handbook is not enough. They have to actually take time off! To create a culture that highlights the appeal of vacations, certain conditions must be met.
– The importance of vacation time must be conveyed in the words and actions of managers. In order for employees to be able to take a little time off work without feeling guilty, they have to see their managers doing the same thing. If managers in your organization are not pro-vacation, it’s time to make them aware of the benefits of vacation time. Managers need to be open to allowing their employees to take time off, and they need to take time off, themselves.
– Many people admit that they don’t take vacations because they’re afraid of the mountain of work that will be waiting for them when they get back and say they’d end up working twice as hard before leaving. With rigorous planning and efficient reorganization of the workload, employees will be able to step away from their desk with full peace of mind, knowing that the work will get done during their absence and that, when they get back, the workload will be acceptable. Vacation periods give your organization an opportunity to train successors and increase employee versatility.
– If organizing the workload in preparation for vacation periods seems to be getting somewhat complicated, why not involve employees in the process of coming up with solutions? You will be surprised to see how many of them will offer to fill in the gap and propose solutions that might not have occurred to you.
Don’t forget: Everyone needs vacation time. Even you! Contribute to the creation of a culture that promotes this valuable time away by setting a positive example. No logging back in to check emails or telephone messages, to see how things are going without you! Everyone can be replaced… at least, during vacation period!