Make Vacation a Priority for Employees
It’s August, and for many employees this is a prime time for taking PTO. These are days for spending time with family, taking a quick weekend with friends or simply time for a mental health break. Yet, as good as time off can feel, the mental health effects are often short-lived. Close to two-thirds of working adults cite the benefits of time off quickly disappear after returning to work, according to a survey from the American Psychological Association (APA).
Considering time off is a significant benefit for most working Americans, why don’t the positive feelings of time off last longer? For a growing number of workers, the benefits of paid time off are negated by organizational factors. 42 percent do not look forward to returning to work. 28 percent end up working during their time off, and 21 percent report feeling stressed out while on vacation. These feelings are prevalent for employees who lack the support of a positive work culture and who do not have a supervisor they like and trust.
The workplace culture and one’s direct manager or supervisor plays a significant role in an employee’s happiness on and off the job. In many ways, employees receive the message of expectations through words and the actions of those around them. Employees who observe their peers and higher ups taking time off and returning refreshed are more likely to believe time off is a priority for the work/life balance of the organization. Those who do not see this are less likely to take time off and may even be fearful of the repercussions of taking PTO. The APA reported only 41 percent of the U.S. workers surveyed work in a place where they are encouraged to take time off, and a mere 38 percent have a supervisor who encourages staff to take time off.
Benefits of Vacation Time
The resulting stress from not taking a vacation can affect employees on many levels from the physical to the emotional. This can include feeling overworked and under supported. In organizations where time off is not encouraged, employees are more likely to feel the need for workplace stress-reduction resources.
The importance of taking time off is more than just a personal benefit. It also affects how an employee perceives their employer and the likelihood of recommending the workplace to others. Employees who receive encouragement to take time off report having the following related benefits:
Have more job satisfaction – 88 percent
Feel they are treated fairly – 88 percent
Willing to recommend the workplace to others – 81 percent
Feel valued by their employer – 80 percent
Possess more motivation – 71 percent
Demonstrate better productivity – 73 percent
Show improved work quality – 70 percent
Encouraging time off and providing stress-management resources can go a long way in keeping employees healthy, happy and productive, which in turn helps the business and employees thrive.
This article is brought to you by Staffing Kansas City, a full-service Kansas City employment agency that provides contract-to-hire, direct hire and contract employment placement services.