The next time you think you can’t afford to go on vacation because of what your workaholic co-workers will think of you or the mounds of work that will greet you when you arrive home, think again.
According to Dr. Mehmet Oz, a television personality, surgeon, professor, and author:
- Vacationing improves your mood and reduces stress, and can temporarily help boost productivity.
- People who travel more frequently are more satisfied with their physical health and well-being.
- Vacationing can increase creativity.
Data shows, however, that most American workers are not getting the message. Per the U.S. Travel Association’s Project Time Off, 52 percent of Americans had unused vacation days at the end of 2017 and only eight of their 17.2 vacation days are used for travel.
This is in stark contrast to Europe, where the Center for Economic and Policy Research reports that 16 of the 18 most generous governments when it comes to paid vacation are European. Spain and Germany offer 34 days of paid leave each year, Italy and France guarantee 31 days, and Belgium requires 30. And Europeans are not shy about taking every day they are granted.
What Can I Do? The World’s Happiness Report finds that 70 percent of the happiest countries in the world are in Europe, with Finland, Norway, and Denmark coming in one through three respectively. Be a role model for your team, leader. The word culture means “how we do things here.” You can start changing your culture today – for the better – by taking all of your vacation days and encouraging your employees to follow suit.
Jill Christensen is an employee engagement expert, best-selling author, and international keynote speaker. She is a Top 100 Global Employee Engagement Influencer, authored the best-selling book, If Not You, Who?, and works with the best and brightest global leaders to improve productivity and retention, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth. Jill can be reached at +1.303.999.9224 firstname.lastname@example.org.