You look at the same pictures on your desk every day. Perhaps a beach dotted with palm trees, a photo of water glistening under Big Ben, or your family on a recent ski trip to aspen. Sure, gazing at those photos is a nice mental break throughout the workday filled with a jammed email inbox and countless voicemails, but taking a real vacation can actually be good for your career.
According to a 2014 Oxford Economics Assessment of Paid Time Off in the U.S., 42% of employees with paid time off finished the year with unused days, leaving an average of 8.1 days unused.
It’s not surprising that we don’t use all of our time off, especially with the pressures of the job and the dreaded mountain of work to dig out of upon returning to the office. However, a recent study by Intuit showed that 82% of employees surveyed reported an 82% increase in job performance following a true vacation. The same study also showed that without the pressure of having to respond to a busy workday, employees find their best ideas and more innovative approaches to their work.
In order to take an effective vacation and to provide you with the best break from the office, consider these tips:
PREDICT SLOW TIMES
It may be easier to take time off during lulls in the work environment. If work typically slows in July, it might be easier to schedule a vacation than trying to take it with the rest of the office at the holidays.
Appoint a go-to person in your absence to handle your day-to-day operations. They can stand in for you and keep your vacation worry-free. Instruct them to only bring true emergencies to your attention while you’re out of the office.
START YOUR VACATION EARLY
Notify your colleagues and clients that you will be out so they can plan their business accordingly. This will give you advanced notice of anything important that may arise while you’re on vacation, allowing you to deal with it in advance.
If you can’t take a true vacation, a mental break throughout the day to put your mind at ease may help reduce your work-related stress, and can help you dream about your next escape.
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