By Chuck Cusumano and Jillian Broaddus
We wrote a blog article last month about the importance of setting boundaries when working remotely. We discussed ways to combat burnout, loneliness, and distractions by setting time for breaks, separating your work area from your fun area, and planning some virtual fun meetings. However, ten-minute breaks to go outside and catch some Vitamin D won’t sustain your mental health for the long haul. Every once in a while, we need vacations.
Even without a global pandemic, over half of the US workforce doesn’t utilize their annual allotted vacation time. However, there are health benefits and productivity benefits for the employer and employee alike when their people take time off. Research by Ernst and Young found that for every 10 vacation hours a person took, average performance reviews were 8% higher, while every 40 hours of free time extended an employee’s stay at the company by eight months. Other research shows that taking a vacation results in reduced stress (no surprise there!), as well as better sleep patterns, lower risk of heart disease, more motivation to achieve goals, and increased productivity upon return to the office!
So, the proof is in the pudding: you need a vacation! Although travel is still limited, there are plenty of other ways to gain the health benefits of time off. Take a hike, have a stay-cation in your town, visit family (from a safe distance!), or even go camping in your own backyard.
Your mind – and your work – will thank you for it!