Spring has only just sprung, but thanks to school-based Spring Breaks and summer rapidly approaching, we’ve begun logging a lot of vacation requests at GFM. Already we’ve had team members travel as far as Hawaii and Florida and points between with summer trips planned as far reaching as Europe and the Galapagos Islands.
Planning For Vacation Isn’t Always Easy
There’s no doubt about it, planning vacation among a small and close-knit team can be challenging. We have to balance teams to ensure that no client is left without a contact, but also ensure that team members – both those on vacation and those holding down the fort – feel supported. Most important, however, is that everyone eventually has a chance to get away.
Risks of Skipping Vacation
A September 2015 article titled “This is what 365 days without a vacation does to your health” outlined the risks associated with skipping vacation, including:
- Increased risk for heart disease among both men and women
- Mental health risk, especially depression
- Productivity and work performance effects, including lower cognitive function and reasoning over time
We all know it can be hard to hold onto that “vacation afterglow” – especially if you return to a full plate and project deadlines. But research from the University of Tampere in Finland shows that the cumulative effect over time is what matters more in the long-run.
The recently released 2016 Alamo Family Vacation Survey revealed that millennials (59%) are more likely than their colleagues 35 and older (41%) to feel a sense of shame for taking or planning a vacation. And while millennials are most likely to feel guilty, nearly half of all workers surveyed feel a sense of shame or guilt for taking time off. Yikes!
Creating a Vacation-friendly Culture
While we haven’t taken the same straw poll at GFM, I certainly hope this isn’t the case. In fact, at GFM we’re strongly driven by our culture, which includes encouraging time off – whether it’s a one day mental health break or a week-long, unplugged trip to the mountains. And you’ll find everyone at GFM takes vacation days – from our president to our newest team member, we all need to get away. While we love our jobs, we work to live, we don’t live to work.
In our world the benefits of paid vacation days go far beyond the “benefits” in our handbook. Has your workplace experienced the benefits of vacation? We’d love to hear about them!