A brutal, relentless work schedule is a badge of honor for some business owners. But if you believe skipping vacation will help your business succeed, think again.
When the boss doesn’t take time off, it can actually undermine the entire company’s productivity and effectiveness. While many bosses claim to value time away from the office, their actions don’t always coincide. According to a study by Project: Time Off, a coalition that aims to change American behaviors and attitudes regarding vacation, almost 60 percent of managers don’t use their own leave each year.
This pattern is trickling down to the next generation of employees. Among millennial workers, only 51 percent of men and 44 percent of women used all of their paid vacation time in 2016. Corporate culture and worries about being away from the office lead to them forfeiting their days off.
As a business owner, these attitudes about leave are detrimental to the team. Here are six reasons time off will make you a better, more successful entrepreneur.
You’ll Recharge Your Batteries
Whether you explore a bucket-list destination, lounge on a beach or stay close to home, rest is critical to invigorating your mind and body. Constantly checking your emails and taking office calls does not count as unplugging from your job. Fresh thinking is the lifeblood of entrepreneurs, and as a business owner, you rely on your creativity. Travel is one of the best ways to nurture a sense of adventure, innovation and forward thinking. By getting outside of your normal surroundings, you’ll explore other cultures, generate new ideas and also learn about yourself as you negotiate unfamiliar environments. You’ll also be more appreciative of your day-to-day routine after you have had time away from it.
You’ll Invest Time in Your Most Important Relationships
Studies have shown that personal happiness depends on your relationships with others. When you spend time with your spouse, children or friends, it’s a win-win. The demands of starting or running a business frequently mean less time with those closest to you. A vacation can help renew and strengthen connections and shift the focus back to what is most important in life.
You’ll Improve Employee Retention
Your attitude as an employer weighs heavily on the well-being of your employees. When employees are actively encouraged to take their well-deserved R&R, it sends the message that work-life balance is valued. Not only will your team feel appreciated, but they’ll stick around longer. One study found employees work harder when they return from a break. Project: Time Off learned that when managers encourage employees to take PTO, employees respond by putting in longer hours when necessary.
You’ll Reduce Burnout
You do your company no favors when you and your team work absurdly long hours. A Harvard Business Review study found that overworking not only impairs performance but can lead to higher employee turnover and increased health insurance costs. In addition, researchers found that employees who do not use their vacation days are less likely to receive raises, bonuses or promotions. When workers are depleted by long hours and intense work, it can negatively affect their judgment, communication skills, ability to focus and even their emotional regulation. Time off is an important antidote for these issues.
You’ll Set a Good Example
If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for your employees. When you refuse to take a break, you are sending a mixed message. In fact, a Harvard Business Review study found 66 percent of employees say their company discourages or fails to communicate about using their paid leave. Your attitude on this matter can distinguish you as a desirable employer, resulting in a happy, productive, creative and rested team.
You may also find 7 Helpful Tips for Minimizing Vacation Stress helpful. For more of Diane’s etiquette tips, read her Inc. contributions, subscribe to her articles on Huffington Post, “like” The Protocol School of Texas on Facebook, or follow her on Pinterest and Instagram.