Understanding the Value of Time Off for Employees - ACTN Strategies


Understanding the Value of Time Off for Employees

With more employees working from home than ever before, the boundaries between work and life have blurred for many. As employees, we want to produce the best work product that we can. As managers, we want to help our employees be their most productive. But to perform at our best, research indicates that our brains need a break – and that means time off. It may seem counterintuitive but taking time away from work can both decrease burnout and increase productivity.


The Link Between Time Off and Burnout

Between an increased number of people working from home, heavier workloads due to staffing shortages, and technological conveniences (read: email on your phone) Americans are working more hours than we have in the past. And as a result, 68% of workers feel at least moderately burned out, according to a study by the US Travel Association.

Capitol One Business surveyed small business owners and found similar results: 62% of small business owners reported working longer hours, and nearly half reported feeling run down and drained of energy. So when it comes to fighting burnout, business owners are well-positioned to lead by example.

Burned out employees don’t tend to stick around long term and hiring and training new employees is both time consuming and expensive. According to the same US Travel Association survey, 62% of people who are generally less prone to planning vacations rated avoiding burnout as their top motivator for planning a vacation this year. Encouraging employees to take time away from the office could help your business retain employees and save money.


Time Away from Work Boosts Productivity 

Since the pandemic began, many Americans have reported increased stress levels and fatigue. As humans, we’re constantly making decisions – and as employees, we make even more. Decision making is mentally demanding and cumulative – the more decisions we make, the more fatigued we become, and the more likely we are to make poor choices. Our brains need breaks.

More than half of small business owners reported that when they experience burnout, it’s a barrier to success for their business, according to Capitol Once Business. And the same is true for employees. Research shows that after time away from the office, employees are better able to make decisions (and their job satisfaction increases, too!). 

Perhaps our favorite statistic, though: according to Project: Time Off, employees who take 11 or more vacation days a year are 30% more likely to receive a raise than those who take ten days or fewer. That means that employees who take time off perform demonstratively better than those who attempt to power through burnout.


If you’ve read all of this and are ready for a vacation, we’re excited for you! We’ve put together an out of office checklist to help you plan your time off so that you return refreshed and ready to hit the ground running! Workforce planning and resiliency are an important part of a thorough risk management strategy – we’re here to help you and your team Rise to Every Occasion.