There’s a saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” which makes for an apt description of our own work-life balance problems. We know how work can be important, but if all you do is work throughout the day, it could have negative and unhealthy consequences for your life.

Counterintuitively, however, taking a break from work from time to time can actually boost productivity, health, and well-being.

Overworked employees are unhappy, disengaged, burnt out, and least likely to contribute to workplace productivity. After taking a break, employees return to work with a positive, can-do attitude and are ready to take on new challenges.

As an employer, you can promote health, happiness, and productivity in your employees by allowing them occasional vacations. If people are not given time for rest and to recharge, they will not be able to perform their best.

Therefore, the workplace ought to change its mindset and implement policies that encourage paid leaves/time-offs (PTO), including those who are contract employees.

You’ll be amazed to see the difference in employee’s productivity after they return from a paid vacay feeling refreshed. Did you know that in 2016, British workforce didn’t take around 163 million annual leave days?

Uncooperative management, heavy workload, and cultural constraints keep employees from taking regular time offs. Among people surveyed by a UK software firm, 19% said they had been pressured to stay at work. 

On the other hand, this should never be the case since taking time off regardless of the reason is the fundamental right of every employee that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Because of the reasons mentioned above, recruitment experts always emphasize that when you’re negotiating contract salary or other perks on a job offer, you should also argue for taking more paid holidays.

The following are the reasons employees should be taking more paid leaves:

Enhanced productivity

Taking a break from the daily grind is a welcome relief that taking time off can provide. We return to work feeling energized and get into it with renewed gusto.

Paid leaves can boost performance within the organization. Research by EY has proven that workers that are well-rested perform far better. Each additional 10 hours of vacation time results in an 8% increase in performance evaluations.

Vacations grant us the opportunity to get some distance from the thick of it all and gain fresh perspective on things, which fuels our creative juices.

A better work-life balance

You will become unrecognizable to yourself after you start working late hours, put in overtime on weekends, and never take time off from work. Workaholics find it hard to improve their social relationships, as they are often hard-pressed to keep social commitments.

Consider taking time off to take up interests and hobbies you have long neglected due to your career demands. You will start to appreciate life more and other things that it has to offer once you get some distance from your laptop and the constant humdrum of work life.

A workaholic should take regular breaks from work to spend time with family. While money and success eventually fade, relationships endure. Spend time with your family, even if all you could do is to get them around for a short vacation. 

Some people find it hard to switch off completely from thinking about their work even while on the vacation. If you are in charge of taking the major decisions within your organization and feel that you have too much responsibility on your shoulders, we suggest staying in touch by using video conferencing software. Technology is meant to simplify our lives, so businesses should embrace the use of technology to make the employees’ lives a little less complicated. 

Automating certain processes eliminate mistakes and accounts for greater productivity. For example, an inventory management system could be a better fit than teaching new employees how to keep track of inventory.

Automating mundane tasks frees up your employees to focus on more creative and valuable tasks. An organization that gives employees work, which challenges them to step out of monotony and their comfort zones, makes sure that their employees never burn out.

An increase in retention

Retaining employees is easier when you encourage them to take time off. Happy employees are likelier to stay for a long time.

Returning from a vacation, feeling rested and refreshed, the employees will not only be productive but stay loyal to the organization and its goals.

Enhanced physical and mental health

What happens to Jack when he works all day and doesn’t play? He burns out. Burnout is often seen as an extreme form of fatigue or mental and physical exhaustion.

Employees are likely to become emotionally exhausted if their workplace is stressful and they feel little power over their roles and responsibilities.

As a result, employees often become depressed, discouraged, and start to dip in performance. Mild burnout takes weeks or even months to recover from, while a more serious burnout might require years.

Resting will help prevent the onset of long-term mental health issues. Employers can avoid burnout by offering smaller breaks between workdays and mandatory vacation times.

The alternative, which is when employees start taking more sick days, is in favor of neither the employees or the employer. The employers in that case would have to pay higher insurance costs.

Time off from work also improve our physical health: Researchers at the AMA published a study showing that men who took more days off had a 32% lower risk of heart disease than those who didn’t.

Reduced expenses

Employers who monetarily compensate employees for not taking paid leaves stand to lose on all of the benefits mentioned above. Eventually, losses in productivity, due to more sick days or productivity dips, can cause the bottom line to suffer. In the US alone, vacations that have not been taken cost employers close to $224 billion a year in terms of productivity and other losses.

There are long-term benefits to consider over seemingly short-term losses: For example, when employees take vacations, their retention increases, the result is that you’ll spend less resources on hiring and training new employees, meaning you’ll end up saving more money in the long run.

Final Words

To boost productivity and keep the creative juices flowing, employers need to allow their employees more paid leaves from work. Doing so will benefit your employee and your company as a whole will be the better for it because a happy employee is a hardworking employee. The better you care for the well-being of your employees, the more effort they’ll put in to make the company a success.