5 UNOBVIOUS Benefits of Taking Vacation

Everyone knows the importance of vacation, the chance to get away, recharge and relax.  Days off are the opportunity to get refreshed and revived.  In today’s hustle and bustle world over 55% of us leave vacation days unused, wasted.  According to the U.S. Travel Association’s statistical analysis, the number of forfeited vacation days in 2016, surpassed 658 MILLION.  Well that is not good for you and it is certainly not good for your team.  Here are 5 unobvious benefits of taking those vacation days.

Challenge Your Team:  Your team has the opportunity to demonstrate what they can do.  How they can assess, work and solve a problem.  With your absence the team may even miss you a little or appreciate all that you do even more.  Time away provides peace of mind that the team could keep going without you, if ever necessary.   Overall the experience provides proof that your trust in your team is well placed.

Build Ownership: If you are in a leadership position, new projects that appear during your absence will provide the opportunity for your team to take a sense of ownership.  They started the project and you can let them run with it.  Enable your team to use their ideology to generate performance.  Add perspective but give them control.  This will also help with your team feeling trusted, honored and appreciated.  Use your time off as a way to empower your team and help them take their skills to the next level.

Return with a Vengeance:  Sure you come back to work revived and rejuvenated after a leave, but more often you come back “in-the-hole.”  You are buried with emails, phone messages and project updates.  This is the epitome of sink or swim; you have to show up guns blazing, be ready to get to work and juggle everything on your plate that has piled up since your first day off.  This can be a great way to improve your own time-management skills and improve your efficiency.

Clearer Thinking?  Whenever overwhelmed with a project, try setting it down and getting away from it for a little while.  That way when you come back you are refreshed, perhaps with new ideas or a different perspective.  This is what a vacation does best, gives you the opportunity to free associate your project on an entirely different level.  The barriers you were facing may still be there but your mindset has a new angle of approach.

THANK YOU!  One of the biggest benefits of taking time off is the opportunity to show appreciation for your team.  Give them a thank you for keeping the place running, a great job for getting this and that done and appreciation for stepping up and rocking that new project.  Bring in doughnuts one day after your return, buy lunch or even give a written thank you card that demonstrates how much you really appreciate their efforts.

The U.S. Travel Association’s (USTA) 2016 survey detailed  658 million unused vacation days, marking the highest number ever recorded, well surpassing the 2015 number of 429 million, and the numbers look to keep getting bigger uncovering and alarming trend.  .  If for no other reason, the USTA reminds us that vacations help the economy, so in a sense you are helping “everyone” – GO HAVE FUN!