The United States is the only developed country in the world that does not require employers to provide paid vacation time to workers. Therefore, American workers may feel pressured to work hard rather than take time off to travel and rest, since 662 million vacation days were unused in 2016. Companies should offer more robust vacation benefits for several reasons.
Encourage Personal Lives
Robert Glazer, managing director and founding member of marketing agency Acceleration Partners, says that his company implemented a mandatory travel-focused benefit. The company encourages people to travel and helps workers achieve their vacation dreams. Acceleration Partners requires that every employee take five days per year to travel and rest. The idea is to not think about work for a period of time, which means no checking emails, no responding to messages on cellphones, and simply getting away from it all for a short time.
Five days per year lets employees travel and rest for nine days, counting the two weekends on either side of the five-day period. Workers can jet off to a foreign country, go on a cruise, spend time with family, go camping or embark on an inspirational journey that recharges their batteries.
Studies reveal that employees who take time off are more productive, versus those who don't utilize this benefit. Vacationing can help reduce stress, increase happiness and minimize anxiety. Travel and rest can also reduce incidences of a toxic workplace and help workers collaborate better as a team. All of these factors can lead to increased profits.
Benefits of Traveling
Traveling allows people to break from their ordinary routine. Rather than stay on autopilot with a 9-to-5 schedule, buying weekly groceries and settling into a normal schedule, travel disrupts normalcy, which can refresh a person's mind and inspire them to think differently.
Having a new experience in a new place can also help employees gain new insights into their lives, which might inspire them to try new things. Glazer notes that travel and rest may also inspire individuals to broaden their mindsets. An employee that recharges his mental batteries while on vacation can come up with new insights or ways to solve work-related problems.
Workers who experience different business practices in various countries may come home with new ideas to implement at the office. For example, Glazer noted how casual restaurants pay for food in advance at the counter upon ordering rather than paying a bill after the meal. This system is more efficient and offers customers freedom when it comes to leaving whenever they want to as opposed to waiting for a bill at a later time. Glazer then pondered how to implement a prepayment system with Acceleration Partners as an innovation.
Having sufficient time to travel and rest fosters appreciation from employees who value their downtime with family and friends. Happier employees are generally more passionate and productive workers who can help improve your company's bottom line.
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