by Traci Pesch
Recognize This! – We cannot create more human work cultures if we don’t honor the human need to rest, reflect, and breathe.
I’m just back from vacation – enjoying family and friends immersed in sun, sand, and ocean. The ability to step back, relax, and rest my mind certainly made it possible to bring a rejuvenated spirit to my work.
And this experience reminded me of recent podcast from NPR’s Shankar Vedantam and Dan Pink (author of Drive): “What Science Says about Taking a Great Vacation.”
In the podcast, Shankar and Dan discuss research that shows three interesting findings:
- Relationships (or at least relatability matters), even while on vacation.
- Shorter but more frequent vacations may be the ticket to keeping the positive impact of vacation going.
- Experiencing awe may be the best vacation memento because it can “increase ethical decision making and generosity.”
From a WorkHuman perspective, we need to honor the very human need to rejuvenate the soul, the spirit and the mind. As Lin-Manuel Miranda (creator of Broadway sensation Hamilton) said on Twitter, “No accident that the best idea I ever had in my life (Maybe the best one I’ll ever have) happened on vacation. With a second to breathe.”
Sadly, it seems workers hesitate on taking vacation. This survey found the top 5 reasons workers skip vacation:
- Fear of returning to a mountain of work(40%)
- The belief that nobody else can do the job (35%)
- Inability to afford taking time off (33%)
- Fear of being seen as replaceable (22%)
- To show greater dedication to the company and the job (28%)
And Americans seem to be worst about this. This article describe us as “a nation of vacation-deprived, work-obsessed, business casual-attired zombies.” If our best ideas possible come when we give our brain a chance to officially switch off, and if our companies ostensibly support the idea of vacation, then how can we as leaders encourage the behavior of actually taking a real break? Because we must. Our people deserve it. Our humans need it.
Do you use all of your vacation days? If not, why not?