The Importance of Taking a Vacation
Happy August! It is hard to believe that summer has come to an end and schools are back in session. The lazy days of summer have become a thing of the past! As some of my close friends and clients know, I take some time off each summer to get away. While I’m not in the office, I do not stop working. I use this time away from the office to focus on my girls as well as the development and continual growth of our business. It gives me a chance to reflect on the year to date- challenges, successes, failures and think about things in a different way. I believe that if you are not changing, you become stagnant.
This year was the first time in 8 years since starting the company that I was truly at peace with getting away. In years past, I would worry constantly about whether things would get done and check in frequently to make sure they were getting done correctly. This year was different and I think a large part of why it was different was because I knew I needed it. I needed to recharge my battery. The first of 2015 was a challenge. Lower fuel prices, large layoffs and companies being relocated dissipated a sense of fear among businesses to hire and grow. However, I knew that there was really nothing I could control and this brought some peace. We made some changes internally and kept fighting the good fight.
During my time away, I felt truly grateful and subsequently pushed my team to make sure they were taking time themselves. Did you know that the United States is one of very few countries in the world that does not guarantee paid vacation time? In fact, 1 in 4 Americans don’t receive paid time off. For those of you who like numbers that is about 26 million Americans who cannot take vacation- and that is truly sad. I certainly don’t have all the answers to the challenges that businesses and employees face but not taking vacation can make you overworked and less productive.
Alertness Solutions Researcher, Mark Rosekine, states that vacations can increase performance rates by 80%. In addition, those he studied who took a vacation were more productive by 40% compared to before they left. However, close to half of Americans skip out on their allotted vacation time or refuse to use it at all. Call it fear of being fired or trying to climb the corporate ladder, many employees shy away from paid vacation because they don’t want to miss out on important discussions or lose their seat at the power table.
I know I speak as the owner of the company, but I can say that our July was by far the best July we have had since starting the company. I let things go and let my team handle it and they rose to the challenges and stepped up to the power table and did things better than I could have ever expected. I love what I do but also love time away from work related tasks. This does not make me less dedicated to my business. If anything, it has made me realize the importance of work/life balance and how when you strike it just right you light a pretty bright candle as opposed to burning it at both ends.
With summer nearing an end and Labor Day weekend around the corner I would urge those of you who have not taken time off to do so. You might find that not only you but your family, friends and co-workers benefit from it as well. Should you have any hiring needs from the growth you might see from such vacation please remember to call us at 918-551-PROS!