As summer comes to a close, so, too, does vacation season. If you haven’t capitalized on your vacation time yet this year, then you should probably start planning because, as it turns out, going on vacation might be just what you need to secure your next raise and improve your work performance.
Yes, you heard me correctly: going on vacation could help you get a raise. It would seem that the more you work, the better chance you’ll have at receiving rewards for said work. But taking a break from the stress of your work life might be just what you need to reinvigorate your work ethic and productivity. A bedraggled, burned out employee simply isn’t going to apply themselves to their work like a well-rested, relaxed employee who is in a good headspace.
In a recent survey conducted by the U.S. Travel Association and Project: Time Off, 5,641 American workers who work at least 35 hours per week were asked a number of questions about their vacation-taking habits and how those habits had an impact on their lives and the success of their employers.
Over half of the survey respondents reported that they didn’t use all of their vacation days last year. Those that did use all of their vacation, however, were rewarded financially at work. Employees who took 10 days or fewer of vacation time were less likely to have received a raise or a bonus in the last three years than those respondents who had taken 11 days or more of vacation time.
Though this might seem counterintuitive, when you break it down, it starts to make a bit more sense. Happy employees are productive employees, and what makes employees happy? Vacation! As the author of The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor, and positive psychology researcher, Michelle Gielan, noted:
“Our hypothesis has been that without recovery periods, our ability to continue performing at high levels diminishes significantly. Statistically, taking more vacation results in greater success at work as well as lower stress and more happiness at work and home.”
If going on vacation can provide you with less stress, create a harmonious work/life balance and increase your likelihood of a raise by upping your happiness and productivity, there really is no excuse to waste your vacation days this year. So if you’ve got vacation days to spend, it may be time to start planning your next getaway.