Many employees don’t realize that taking vacations can make them more efficient and productive.

Many employees believe by not taking their allocated time off, they are coming across as more dedicated, and harder workers. This can have negative effects, not only for one’s personal health, but also for the company. This is especially important in physical positions that you see on many construction sites. For this reason, more and more companies are developing strategies to encourage their team members to take time off.

Vacations are a great way to relax, recharge and spend time with family and friends while letting go of the stresses of everyday life. In today’s overly connected world, taking time to step back and unwind is becoming increasingly important for personal and professional health. However, over half of employees on an average have unused vacation time at the end of each year.

Vacations are necessary for one’s mental health, and for the health of the company. Many organizations have become acutely aware of the negative impact that lack of time off has on productivity and have tried different ways to encourage their staff to take advantage of vacation time.

Companies such as Facebook, Google, and Netflix have instituted unlimited vacation policies. The reasoning is that not restricting time off will allow employees to take personal time as often as they need, without worrying about counting the days. These organizations believe that their staff is so committed to their work that they are not likely to abuse the policy.

Unlimited vacation time is not for everyone.  Some organizations found that people took less vacation time when instituting an “unlimited vacation” policy.  However, Buffer, a Social Media Management Software company, found that offering unlimited vacation had such poor results in encouraging their employees to take vacation time that they began testing other strategies.

When Buffer realized that unlimited vacation was not working out as well as they hoped, they began giving vacation time incentives. Employees were paid $1,000 when they took vacation time. This new incentive helped some, but 57% of employees still took less than 15 days of vacation.

In an effort to further increase vacation utilization, Buffer changed their vacation policy from unlimited to mandatory. The company’s new policy is that every employee must take a minimum of three weeks’ vacation. This simple change has been proven to be very successful.

Today we know that vacations are important for health at work. When team members do not fully utilize their vacation time, it negatively impacts the entire organization. While unlimited vacation policies may not be right for every company, mandatory vacation policies could be the answer for your team.


Photo by David Vives on Unsplash