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Five Reasons to Take Your Vacation Time

You’ve hit the halfway point of the year, in a year that’s been less than ideal and unlike any imaginable. Employees and employers alike are probably exhausted by now in both their professional and personal roles, which is why it’s more important than ever to encourage your colleagues and team members to use their vacation time.

Some employees might be hesitant to cash in on their PTO because of higher work demands and a turbulent job market, mixed with the overall fear of losing their jobs. This is where managers need to step in and provide employees the comfort they need to take some time off, and here are 5 reasons why.

Benefit to Health
During a time when health is everything, this benefit couldn’t be more critical. Besides feeling recharged or reenergized following a vacation, studies have proven how vacations lead to overall improved health. Between the reduction of stress experienced by taking a vacation, cardiovascular health benefits of taking a vacation, and better sleep as a result of a vacation, there’s no doubt that taking vacation time can lead to better health.

Leadership Development
What happens when a team member is out of the office? Others have to step in to make sure processes continue to flow properly, and the work gets done. With this might come new roles or responsibilities employees have to take on that they aren’t used to, pushing them outside of their comfort zone. These situations can create a challenging environment that allows an employee to grow and develop leadership qualities they might not have had the opportunity to do otherwise.

Unused PTO is Costly
PTO policies can differ from organization to organization. If a company abides by a “use it or lose it” policy, employees could be missing out on the monetary value they are entitled to. If a company works within a rollover policy, unused PTO can become a huge financial weight on the company’s books. If an employee rolls a majority of their vacation time over to the next year, that can be PTO an organization wasn’t necessarily planning on paying out.

Identifies Trouble Spots
the rigmarole of everyday work sometimes doesn’t allow employers to take a step back and evaluate the processes they have in place. This can lead to companies becoming complacent or too comfortable, not allowing for the innovation needed to spur growth. When employees take time away, it’s easier to find gaps that might exist in operations. The hope is this is done prior to gaps becoming a significant predicament for the company.

Stimulates Employee Creativity
Taking a step back and away from the daily grind can help get the creative juices flowing. Think about when you receive an email. Do you respond immediately, or do you take the time to step away and allow your entire mind to process? Allowing your thoughts to flow in a different environment outside of work could breed a different thought process or level of thinking you might not have encountered unless you stepped back.

PTO is something that professionals earn, so there’s no shame in taking all of the time owed to you. The idea that employees are heroes for not using all of their vacation time is a stigma that shouldn’t exist.

Are you part of the 55% of Americans that do not use all of their PTO? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out Social Distancing Guidelines at Work – What to Expect.