It’s easy to forget why vacation is important. Imagine, you’ve come to the end of the year and have worked hard to make a living. You were a faithful employee, giving your time in and out of office hours. You covered for several people when they needed off. When you needed a break, you pushed through to show your commitment to your team. And to top it all off, you donated over $500 back to your employer.
That seems like a frustrating scenario, right? So, what if I told you it was true for 52% of Americans?
Enter, Paid Time Off (PTO)
The U.S. Travel Association reported that, on average, Americans forfeited 236 million days or $65.5 billion in 2017 from unused time off. The monetary amount pales in comparison to the invaluable time donated by this population.
From the outside, this loyalty to our job seems admirable, but is it really?
We live in the land of the American Dream where, ideally, if you work hard enough, you’ll rise to the top. Sadly, this is not the case for most people. For the majority, hard work and dedication without some kind of return can lead to burnout. We’ve become so focused on our work that we forget all of the things we spend our lives working for.
The Importance of PTO
While some PTO goes toward sick days or personal days, there are many people who don’t take time to get away for themselves. In other words, vacation. This is an integral part of Human Resources.
Of the four definitions Merriam Webster has for vacation, this one is the best way to describe PTO, “An act or an instance of vacating.” Getting away. Vacationing is leaving work behind, or at least the work environment, to have a break.
Greater good magazine shared three ways vacation is good for you. Vacation is relaxing, breaks make you more productive, and a change of pace boosts creativity.
I remember a short getaway my husband and I took to go to Warped Tour and Six Flags. Getting to unplug from our jobs and do something we both enjoyed, was fantastic.
I was refreshed and felt like I could tackle anything. It may sound silly, since we were not gone for a long time. But if I felt that refreshed after a short break, I can only image what I could do if I allowed myself more time to relax and recuperate.
Taking a break from the hustle and bustle of your job can help your health and overall happiness. Vacation gives you time to refresh and reconnect with yourself and others. It also gives you an opportunity to do the things you want to do and will ultimately make you a better employee.
So, next time you find yourself wondering about why vacation is important, take one! It’ll help you to satisfy vital employee needs.
Article written by Caitlyn Norwood
Last updated March 10, 2023