Americans are notorious for not taking vacation days. In fact, 1 in 7 American workers will go the entire year without taking a single vacation day. In 2011, 57% of working Americans had unused vacation days left at the end of the year. Meanwhile, in France, workers are allotted 30 vacation days per year, and taking all of them is considered the norm.
So why are Americans so bad at taking vacation? A lot of it has to do with our culture. We view taking time off as lazy or unproductive. But the truth is, taking a vacation can actually be good for your career. Here are three reasons why:
Vacation Inspires Creativity
A change of scenery can do wonders for your creativity. When you’re on vacation, you’re not bogged down by the day-to-day tasks of your job. Instead of following the same old routine, you’re often exposed to new experiences and people that inspire you to see the world around you in a different way. This can help spark new ideas that you can bring back to work with you.
You’ll Return Feeling Energized and Motivated
No matter how much you love your job, you’re still susceptible to burnout. Working non-stop can leave you feeling drained, both mentally and physically. If you’re feeling stuck in a rut, taking a vacation can help you get your mojo back. Disconnecting from work allows you to recharge your batteries so that you can come back feeling refreshed and motivated to take on whatever challenges come your way.
Improve Your Job Satisfaction and Performance
When you have a good work-life balance, you’re more likely to be satisfied with your job. And when you’re happy at work, you’re more likely to do your best and perform at a higher level. Taking a vacation can help you achieve that balance. It allows you to take a step back from work and focus on other aspects of your life that are important to you.
An Ernst & Young study found that for every 10 hours of vacation an employee took, their performance review would increase by 8% the following year. Their risk of depression was also dramatically reduced when they took regular vacations away from work.
Taking a vacation can do wonders for your career. It can help you be more creative, productive, and satisfied with your job. So shed that guilt and start planning your next vacation!