According to a survey by Glassdoor: “The average American employee only took 51 per cent of their eligible vacation/paid time off in the year 2013-2014. Fifteen per cent didn't take off at all, while a mere 25 per cent of employees reported using all of their allocated vacation days.” And, even when we're on vacation, the survey revealed, most of us don't unplug: 61 per cent of employees who took time off admit that they did some work while out of the office.” In fact, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal, Americans are throwing away $52.4 billion every year because they won’t take time off from work. Most Indian families take as less as two vacations per year.
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With such grim statistics about taking time off for vacations doing the rounds, it can be concluded that we often tend to disregard the need for holidays. Entrepreneurs are usually the most hard to convince when it comes to the importance of vacations. Owing to their increasing workload and responsibilities, they hardly take any vacations and overwork without a break. However, vacations are actually very important for a number of reasons, even for a busy entrepreneur.
Here is a list of ways how a vacation can actually help an entrepreneur:
Reboot your brain
A vacation is of paramount importance to bring your brain back to its prime. Research conducted by University of Carolina justifies this. Your brain needs sufficient downtime. According to Scientific American, “downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life.”
Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Airlines, advocates the need to take vacations and says, “As an entrepreneur or business leader, if you didn't come back from your vacation with some ideas about how to shake things up, it's time to consider making some changes.” Travelling to a multi-cultural destination is the best way to get rid of your creative block. This will help you get better ideas and also help you gain a new perspective.
Long working hours have always negatively affected productivity. When this continues for a period of time at a stretch, it not only takes a toll on your mental and physical health, but also significantly affects your quality of work.
In 2006, the accounting firm Ernst & Young did an internal study of its employees and found that for each additional 10 hours of vacation employees took, their year-end performance ratings from supervisors (on a scale of one to five) improved by eight percent.
Being an entrepreneur means having to face a lot of stressful situations. Workplace stressors can have short-term as well as long-term impacts on your health. You need to take time off from work and refresh yourself. In fact, research has shown that you will be less prone to depression or depressive episodes by taking more vacation time. Vacations make you happy and healthy.
Empower your team
Do not make your team overtly dependent on you. When the chief takes a vacation, it means more responsibilities for the team. Declare goals, set timelines, delegate tasks and allow them to rise to the occasion and be more responsible. Your time off from work will not only make your team more responsible and proactive but will also promote better team bonding.