Summer time. Vacation time. This is the chance to get away.

But here’s the problem—there’s work to be done. The business has to keep running. And when the people on your team take that well-deserved break, it often means less work gets done, and productivity and revenue can dip. In other words, it strains the business…which can make it tempting to pressure employees to delay their vacation plans, or even to work while they’re away.

However, that’s exactly what you should not do.

Research shows that taking vacation is good for the employee and good for the company. According to the U.S. Travel Association’s Project: Time Off, employees that use their paid time off (PTO) are more likely to be promoted and get a raise—in other words, they’re generally more productive, more valuable employees that can help your business succeed.

Consider these statistics from the book The Happiness Advantage: Research shows that when "the brain can think positively, productivity improves by 31 percent, sales increase by 37 percent, and creativity and revenues can triple.”

Here are some ways that encouraging employees to use their allotted vacation time is smart business.

  • It keeps the team’s energy high. We’ve all heard the term “burnout” – the idea that people work themselves so hard that they become incapable of functioning in their job. As the boss, that’s the last thing you want. Worn down, ineffective employees are a drag on the company no matter how many hours per day they sit at their desk. When workers take time off, it’s a chance to rejuvenate and recover, and bring a renewed sense of commitment to their work.
  • It builds a better culture. There’s plenty of evidence that the old fashioned notion of the boss cracking the whip on employees is just that—old fashioned. It doesn’t work anymore. Employees that feel they’re being treated unfairly have too many other job options, and they won’t stay for long. On the other hand, a vibrant culture can help to both attract and retain talented employees.
  • It can save you money. If you allow employees to roll over paid time off, it can build up into a significant liability—according to Project: Time Off, American companies had a collective $272 billion vacation balance sheet liability in 2016. By encouraging employees to take vacation, you avoid this. Additionally, there’s evidence that time off from work reduces the risk of some health conditions. Healthier employees can lower your healthcare costs.

When you’re in the moment and the big account comes through, it’s tempting to demand that you have all hands on deck and ask employees to hold off on their vacation, or to work through it. But in the long run, it’s better for your business to think big picture, and give employees their time off. They’ve earned it, and in the long run, it’s better for you too.

Contact us at 215.441.4600 or Email if you have questions or would like to discuss how this topic may impact your business.

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