On behalf of Phoenix Partners, I wish all our clients and candidates a joyful, re-energizing holiday season.
Since we’re always interested in the topics of work-life balance, employee engagement, and productivity, we thought we’d round up a list of fun facts about taking time off from work. Enjoy!
1. If you’re actually TAKING time off, you’re in the minority.
The 52% of U.S. workers who forfeit vacation days leave more than 212 vacation days on the table annually and have racked up a vacation deficit exceeding 705 million days, according to the State of American Vacations report. The report says this costs the U.S. Economy $255 Billion. So give yourself a pat on the back for taking your vacation – you’re stimulating the economy!
2. Taking Time Off Increases Engagement
Meanwhile, science shows that time off can increase both productivity and employee engagement. This is backed up by a number of studies, one of which demonstrates that an employee who takes ten additional hours of vacation can improve their performance by as much as 8%. One study shows that employees feel 40% more productive after a well-earned holiday.
When employees are engaged, they are 28% more productive, according to Gallup data. Engaged employees willingly put out extra “discretionary effort.” Studies have shown that the key dimensions of engagement are involvement, efficacy, and energy. Engagement takes physical and mental energy, and participation. What’s even more interesting is that employees who take more vacation and travel on vacation frequently are more likely to be promoted, according to Project Time-Off. Employees who forfeited vacation time were less likely than those who didn’t to have been promoted within the last year and to have received a raise or bonus in the last three years.
3. Time Off “May” Reduce Stress
Stress impacts performance and can lead to a state psychologists call ‘detachment’, where the employee disengages mentally from their place of work in order to deal with mental exhaustion and anxiety. Evidence suggests that we all have a limited pool of cognitive resources. If we are constantly draining this pool, then we are never performing optimally, and performance declines as a result.
Gallup found that only 29% of American workers are engaged. That means business leaves more than $300 billion on the table in lost discretionary effort. Add to that more than $400 billion that American business loses every year due to stress-related costs, and it’s clear that vacations “pay.”
4. Time Off Re-Fuels Your Brain
The brain is an energy machine, consuming 20 percent of the body’s calories, even though it’s only 2 percent of total body mass. Energy that gets expended must be renewed.
Brain imaging studies show that doing nothing, being idle, daydreaming, and relaxing create alpha waves in the brain that are key to creative insights and innovative breakthroughs. According to research by Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, author of the book “Positivity” and psychology professor at UNC Chapel Hill, positive emotions—the kind we feel on a relaxing, playful vacation—make us more inventive and able to think creatively.
5. You’ll Feel Excited When You Go Back to Work
According to research by Korn Ferry, after a vacation, 64 percent of people say that they are ”refreshed and excited to get back to my job.” It’s a win-win both for employees and their companies alike, especially given the fact that unused vacation costs U.S. business $224 billion per year.
So Happy Holidays and best wishes for peace and prosperity in 2019!
If you’d like to hit the ground running in 2019, whether it’s filling a difficult position or taking the next step in your career journey, contact Phoenix Partners for help.