*Luau music plays softly in the background*

Spring has sprung, or is springing, depending on what part of the country or world (let’s be honest about my readership… country) you’re currently inhabiting. And with warmer weather comes vacation daydreams galore. Whether your ideal trip is just a few miles or a few thousand miles down the road, thoughts of escaping from your daily monotony for a short period of time are inevitable this time of year.

Now you might expect me, a corporate writer, to say something like: stop this nonsense, you fool! Get back to work! But, nay. Instead I say: take those vacations! Use that PTO! Rally the necessary troops and gallivant into the metaphorical sunset that is your dream vacation! What might further surprise you is the fact that as more research emerges on the benefits of taking a mental break from your work, more businesses are taking on a similar mentality.

 

Give it a rest, already.

According to a study conducted by Project: Time Off, the majority of HR managers agree (77%)

that employees who use most or all of their available vacation time are more productive in their jobs than those who do not. The study also found that HR managers believe that encouraging employees to take time off from their job can lead to increased performance, job satisfaction and employee engagement.

Not only this, but taking a break allows us to step back, recharge and even take on new perspectives that can stir the flagging pot of creativity resulting from a sometimes stagnant work flow. Going on a trip or vacation allows you to immerse yourself in new cultures and surroundings, opening your mind and allowing you to see the world (and your work problems) in a new light.

Even if you choose to use your PTO for the most epic staycation, wherein your main activities include sleeping until noon every day and then napping some more later on, you’re better off than you would be using your time than spending those hours at work. Studies have found that sleep is the number one impact on our overall health and happiness, after all. Don’t doubt the power of a good nap!

Think you’ve got too much work or not enough time to take a vacation? Think again. Taking a well-deserved break will increase your productivity and bring a renewed sense of energy and purpose when you return to the grind. Overworking isn’t going to make you more likely to succeed. So, if you start to feel guilty for using your given time-off, consider how much more effective it may make you long term.

Remember it’s all about balance. Don’t let your vacation days go to waste! Use them to help you achieve a better work-life balance and overall happier and more effective work mindset.