NEW YORK – The U.S. Travel Association’s Project: Time Off initiative seeks to shift workplace culture so that taking a much-needed vacation is recognized as essential to strengthening families and improving personal health, as well as a business investment with proven returns and an economic necessity.
Citing the benefits of taking a vacation, last week author Shawn Achor penned an article in the Harvard Business Review on Project: Time Off, suggesting that people who take vacations tend to have a better chance of receiving a raise or promotion than workplace peers who don’t use their paid vacation time.
Instead of assuming that paid taking time off will send a negative message to a manager and slow career advancement, Project: Time Off research reveals the opposite. According to Gary Oster, managing director of the initiative, “Many people don’t take time off because they think that it will negatively impact their manager’s perception of them. But, that isn’t the case at all.”
Achor cites four reasons why using vacation time makes good business sense:
- Taking a vacation increases your chances of getting a raise or promotion.
According to Project: Time Off, those who use all of their vacation time have a 6.5% higher chance of getting a promotion or a raise than people who leave 11 or more days of paid time off on the table.
- A positive, engaged brain improves important business metrics.
A study by Michelle Gielan from the Institute for Applied Positive Research and Achor found that 94% of vacations result in higher levels of happiness and energy if travelers plan and prep their colleagues a month in advance prior to taking time off, actually travel instead of taking a “staycation,” and made sure all travel details were set before hitting the road.
- Your manager will perceive you as more productive.
U.S. Travel Association research found that managers associate personal happiness with productivity, and that most managers understand happy employees are more productive and collaborative.
- Not taking time off is taking a pay cut.
“There’s no research necessary for this one; it’s just simple economics,” says Achor, meaning that salaried employees with paid vacation are taking a voluntary pay cut if they choose to work instead of take vacation time.
“Four out of 10 employees say that they can’t take their vacation because they have too much work to do. But, think about it this way: Whether or not you take a vacation, you’re still going to have a lot of work to do. Life is finite, and work is infinite,” Achor wrote.
“Start changing the conversation in your own company right now,” he advises. “Then, start planning your next vacation. It’s good for you, and your career.”