In today’s fast paced, technology driven world, we are constantly connected to each other and to our jobs. Our work is often not over when we leave the office each night - it follows us home in the form of phone calls, text messages and email. All of those hours spent bleary-eyed in a dark room in front of the computer monitor at 12:30AM eventually take their toll. This changing technological landscape means that many business professionals never get a chance to really “turn off” their working lives.
Taking time off of work to recharge is becoming even more important in the digital age, and it can have beneficial effects on your business as well.
Here are a few reasons why taking vacation can be good for your business:
Taking Vacation Helps Employees Recharge
Unplanned absences cost businesses more money than pre-arranged Paid Time Off. Employees who do not take their paid vacation days tend to burn out more quickly and take unscheduled days off as a result. This can lead to other employees being overworked as the absent employee’s workload is suddenly piled up on those employees who remain at work. This can have harmful impacts on employee morale and cause undue stress in the workplace.
If You Don’t Use It, You Lose It
Americans have been taking far less time off than they used to. In the year 2000, most employers offered 20 days off a year for their employees. By 2013, that average has declined to 16 days. Not only have employers stymied the amount of time off given to their employees, but many employees these days are also using less time off in general.
In 2016, about 41% of American workers left some Paid Time Off unused. Not only does Paid Time Off tend to not rollover to the next year, those lost days can lead to employee burnout and poor work quality. On the other hand, businesses that have implemented “use it or lose it” policies have divested themselves of the potential liability of an employee suddenly “cashing in” on months of unused Paid Time Off all at once, which can drastically impact a business’s operations and ability to plan ahead.
How You Spend Your Time Off Sets Expectations
A good leader sets trends and expectations and this is especially true in the workplace. If you are the type of manager or business owner that continues to conduct business through phone calls and email, chances are your employees will feel that the same rules apply to them. Turning off the laptop and giving yourself a chance to disconnect from the workplace will develop a workplace culture where taking your vacation time, and using that time effectively, is encouraged.
Offering Time Off Fosters A Healthy Workplace Culture
Speaking of workplace culture, developing a good workplace culture makes you a more attractive employer to potential hires. Now, it’s understandable that not every workplace can emulate employers like Google, famous for their break rooms with two story slides and relaxation pods (built for taking naps during work breaks). What you can do, however, is foster a working environment that encourages a healthy balance between your employees’ professional and personal lives. Not only does this help you retain your best employees, it also makes your business more attractive for job seekers.
Time Off Can Pay For Itself
Businesses that encourage mandatory periods of time off are less likely to fall victim to employee fraud. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners reported in 2016 that businesses that implemented mandatory vacation policies lost over 47% less revenue to fraud. In addition, the timespan of ongoing workplace fraud was reduced by over 44%. Furthermore, implementing mandatory vacation policies can help employers discover or uproot ongoing fraud, as the perpetrator usually must be present in the workplace for their scheme to continue. In short, offering employees Paid Time Off may end up paying for itself in the long run.
These are just a number of ways in which taking vacation days can improve your business, your life, and the lives of your employees. At SRQ Wealth, our team really appreciates having a generous time office policy, where work/life balance is encouraged. We believe it builds loyalty, better team performance, and ultimately great client service, which is what we strive for. We encourage other business-owner clients to consider the same.
So the next time you’re on vacation on some exotic beach sipping a cool cocktail, remind yourself: it’s just good business!