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Why Vacation Time is Important

Posted on: April 20, 2016

Category: Vacation

Regardless of all of the evidence that points to the importance of vacation for employees – and employers – many of us still are hesitant to take a real break from work. Concerns about taking vacation time often stem from an employee’s fears of their value and importance within their company being undermined while they are away. However, as more and more employers enact policies that encourage workers to take much-needed time off, the tide is turning to recognize the significant benefits of vacation time.

Leading the Way in Vacation Time Policies

Vacation is important for employees and employers.In Germany, people can be prescribed a stay at a spa for health and relaxation treatment. A doctor-prescribed stay is typically four-to-six weeks and is 100% covered by private and public health insurance. Germans are eligible every two to six years for this kind of spa treatment, during which they continue to receive their regular employment salary and the time is not taken from their vacation days.

Are you a bit jealous? We certainly are!

While the U.S. doesn’t have any comparable legislation for spa treatments, it is becoming increasingly popular for companies to mandate that their employees take time away from their work to rejuvenate and refresh their minds and bodies.

One company, FullContact API, has created an innovative paid vacation policy: a $7500 bonus for getting out of the office, on top of standard paid vacation. The only caveat: you can’t answer email while you’re away.”

How Does Vacation Time Benefit Employees… and Employers?

The benefits of taking a true vacation from the office are widely recognized. Even if you work in the kind of company that doesn’t actively encourage taking vacation, the difference in an employee’s ability to focus, creative thought processes, attitude and energy following a vacation are often significant.

Other benefits of vacations are less commonly recognized, but equally important:

  • Operational Processes: When employees take vacation time off, it requires them to create a process for delegate their duties and enable projects to keep running in their absence. Not only does this help strengthen an employee’s management skills, it also mitigates the company’s risks in case an employee needs to unexpectedly be absent from work or quits their job.
  • Improved Employee Health: Many people recognize the stress-relief and relaxation impact of vacation, but it takes a few days for the difference to be felt. Short trips of two to three days don’t offer the same depth of recharging and rest as longer vacations. Time to rest the body and mind help people to feel better, experience less stress-related illness, and reduce their health insurance claims.
  • Reduced Turnover: Employees who feel valued as human beings, not just as employees, are more inclined to be happy in their workplace. By encouraging vacation and paid time off, employees feel free to take personal time to fuel their own interests and needs. This kind of support from an employer can reduce turnover and increase overall staff morale.

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