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Why Every Great Employee Needs to Plan a Vacation This Summer


You may think the world will end – or at the very least, your business, department or office will crumble to the ground – if you step away from your desk for more than a day or two.

Take a reality check. If this is your mindset, you’re missing out on much-needed time to regroup and relax. Taking a vacation will actually make you better at your job.

You’re Not Alone

Studies have shown that Americans today are using less vacation time compared to any point during the last 40 years.

  • Less than half of workers, as reported by the Huffington Post, plan on using all their paid time off during the year. The most common reason: They possess what experts have dubbed a “martyr complex.” They believe that no one else can do their job as well as they can.

Debunking the Myth

Their dedication may be admirable, but those “martyrs” have it wrong. Employees who take all of their vacation time are actually more productive and increase their chances of getting a raise, being promoted and advancing their careers.

  • In one study of nearly 500 HR managers, 90 percent said they believed their employees were more productive as a result of taking time off.
  • According to the U.S. Travel Association’s Project: Time Off initiative, individuals who take all their vacation time increase their chances of a raise or a promotion by 6.5 percent, compared to those who leave vacation time unused.
  • Internal research at the accounting firm Ernst & Young revealed that for each additional 10 hours that an employee took for vacation, their performance reviews were eight percent higher the following year.

Your Brain Needs a Break

Winding down every weekend is helpful, but to truly get out of the work mode, you need to carve out a longer period of time. This enables you to catch up on rest and let go of the day-to-day habits that contribute to work-related stress. As a result, you return to work rejuvenated and inspired.

  • Vacation is good for your health. Relaxing and getting away from both personal and professional worries can help lower anxiety, heart rate and blood pressure. This can, in turn, reduce your risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
  • During vacation, your brain can take time to process information so you come back in top shape. One side of our brain is task focused, and the other side is focused on letting your mind wander and daydream. Hard workers are pretty much always in task-focused mode. As noted by McGill University researcher Daniel J. Levitin, giving your brain time to wind down and think about nothing at all can provide “our moments of greatest creativity and insight.”
  • Author Shawn Achor recently noted in an article in Harvard Business Review that vacation is good for everything from a person’s mental state and productivity to a company’s bottom line. In his book, The Happiness Advantage, Achor states that “when the brain can think positively, productivity improves by 31 percent. But to be truly engaged in your work, your brain needs a break.”

Are you convinced yet? For additional tips and resources on making your healthcare career the best it can be, read our related posts or contact MedicalPros Recruiting + Staffing today.

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