How a Summer Vacation Can be a Boon for Your Career

Every working person dreams of finding that ultimate work life balance. The stresses and pressure of a full time career, coupled with the demands of raising a family and running a household can take its toll on any working parent. Even if you are not a parent, but happen to have a job that causes you to work long hours, you may be headed for career burnout and poor health.

Taking time off from work for a summer vacation is as essential as breathing. But did you know that it can also help your career thrive and your employer appreciate you more?

Time off Can Help You Perform Better at Work

It’s true. Taking regular leisure time off from work can help you to become a more productive and efficient employee. In a long-term study conducted by the Organizational Psychology Program at Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology in 2006, employees who worked 10 to 12 hours per day were significantly less productive and efficient than their co-workers who average 6-6.5 hours of work per day. When you are more productive, you can impress your boss by getting tasks accomplished and being an effective problem-solver.

Vacation Time Can Help You Live Longer

The Framington Heart Study found that men who took more vacations were healthier and lived longer than those who did not take time off from work. Additionally, a Journal of Occupational Health article indicated that workers who take regular vacations “report a better mood, more energy, and an overall great feeling of happiness and satisfaction”.  Helping employees develop habits that support healthier employees is a concern of many employers. You can do your part by taking regularly scheduled vacation time and coming back to work refreshed and energized.  

Vacation Trends in the American Workforce

Unfortunately, research from the Families and Work Institute shows that less than half of all employees in the United States take advantage of paid vacation days or they may choose to work during their vacation time. This research, highlighted in an article in Fiscal Times, also shows that “20 percent of employees reporting high overwork levels said they make a lot of mistakes at work”. Worldwide, US workers are the least likely to use vacation as a time to recuperate and recharge from their stressful lives. Many times, employees choose not to take time off simply because they are not afforded paid time off options, or they may be trying to hold down multiple part time jobs. It’s clear that this trend needs to change in America.

Why You Need a Summer Vacation

While you may think that this is not a good time to personally take a summer vacation, the evidence is there that you must take time off once in a while if you want to remain sharp at work. You also need to schedule leisure time into your life to stay healthy and productive. These factors can be a boost to your career in that you will be able to perform better on the job, be more efficient, make less mistakes, and contribute more to your corporate team. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to take a summer vacation and relax more often.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you usually take a summer vacation – why or why not? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

More from PayScale

Majority of Workers Stay Plugged in During Vacations

Why Skipping Your Summer Vacation Could Kill You

Image Credit

Stockimages /