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The Secret to Improving Productivity: Vacation!

Take a Holiday Vacataion to Recharge

For the record, this hunky guy is my hubby bringing me a BBC somewhere warm and tropical on a holiday vacation.

With Hanukkah and Thanksgiving this week, and the Winter Solstice, Christmas and Kwanzaa fast approaching, business owners’ minds often turn toward holiday sales and profits while employees have visions of time off dancing in their heads.

Heaven knows neither myself nor co-bloggers Erin Schwartz and Michelle J. plan on being here this coming Thursday and Friday. Of course working for an eCommerce company means we’re still open 24/7 (and with some crazy-good Cyber Week Daily Deals and a wowza Black Friday, plus Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday specials soon to follow!)

But all work and no play makes for unproductive employees. It’s in everyone’s best interest to have well-rested and recharged staff, and since paid time off is often part of an employee’s total benefit package, they’ve earned the right to take it, just like they earned their salary. And everyone should “spend” the time off they earn.

Just so you don’t think this is me wanting more time off, I would tell you that in a recent survey of HR professionals, they concluded that taking vacation is either extremely or very important when it comes to:
• Performance
• Morale
• Wellness
• A Positive Culture
• Productivity
• Retention
• Inspiring Creativity

Who doesn’t want better performance and morale, healthy employees, a positive work culture and creative people to work alongside? About three-quarters of these folks also agreed or strongly agreed that employees who take most or all of their vacation are more likely to experience higher levels of job satisfaction (78%), be more productive (77%) and perform better (75%) compared with employees who take less vacation. In addition, they found that these vacation-taking employees stay with the organization longer, take fewer sick days and are more likely to be considered better team players.

SHRM U.S. Travel Association Vacation Impact on the Workplace

“But we’re too busy!”

Yes, some organizations may be too busy over the holidays to allow much more than a day or two off during this hectic shopping season. But that’s all the more reason to ensure that your employees know that you encourage them to plan and take a vacation when appropriate. Because seriously, if you’re not busy at work, something’s probably wrong — so stop waiting for things to slow down and plan to make time for vacation. And while you’re at it, take some advice from a former blog and learn to “go with the slow” whilst using some of that well-earned time off!

A couple years ago, we made some great friends on holiday. (I feel so European referring to vacation as “holiday.”) She worked for a leading New York retailer that is famous for their once-a-year warehouse sale. As the manager, there was no question that she was not going to be taking a vacation in the months and days leading up to the big sale, but she had booked the “Taj Mahal” suite on a cruise to Bermuda that left four days after the sale was over. Perfect timing! And I can testify that she and her husband thoroughly enjoyed that vacation.

OK, what do you have to say about this topic? Do you use all of your available time off, or are you going to have them engrave, “Wished he/she could have worked more.” on your tombstone? Tell us about a great getaway that you’ve taken, or share some ideas about how you prepare at work so you can “afford” to take a vacation. Leave a comment below, tweet us, post on our 123Print Facebook wall or leave a message on our Google+ page. Unlike your parents, we love it when you talk back!

And in the meantime, have a Happy Thanksgiving week and know that we are sincerely thankful for you, our readers!

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