When vacation time is encouraged at work, employees are more productive.

Most workers go on vacation to de-stress from the rat race. But when they return, the glow vanishes the second they step foot back in the office.

Seven out of 10 workers whose boss encourages vacation time from work feel productive when they return, according to the American Psychological Association (APA). Meanwhile, only 46 percent of those working where vacation isn’t part of company culture say the same.

“People need time off from work to recover from stress and prevent burnout,” says APA executive David W. Ballard. “But employers shouldn’t rely on the occasional vacation to offset a stressful work environment. Unless they address the organizational factors causing stress and promote ongoing stress management efforts, the benefits of time off can be fleeting. When stress levels spike again shortly after employees return to work, that’s bad for workers and for business. Employers can do better.”

Preventing burnout

Debt.com has previously reported on the downsides of employee burnout. It’s out of control, bosses are doing nothing to fix it, and it’s causing harm to their businesses.

Almost all (95 percent) of hiring managers say so, according to a study from human resources software company Kronos. Workers can’t take the burnout. It’s causing high turnover rates and workplace retention issues. Here’s what’s causing workplace burnout…

  • Unfair pay: 41 percent
  • Unreasonable workload: 32 percent
  • Working after hours: 32 percent
  • Poor management: 30 percent
  • Negative workplace culture: 26 percent

“While many organizations take steps to manage employee fatigue, there are far fewer efforts to proactively manage burnout,” says Kronos VP Charlie DeWitt. “Not only can employee burnout sap productivity and fuel absenteeism, but it will undermine engagement and cause an organization’s top performers to leave the business altogether.”

Bosses aren’t encouraging workers to unplug from work and take time off, according to APA’s study. Only 41 percent of U.S. workers say their organization’s culture encourages them to take time off. Meanwhile, only 38 percent say their supervisor encourages the same. And in workplaces that do support time off, it’s more than the employees who benefit.

Get away and turn off from work

When workers are encouraged to take time off, they’re more likely to benefit from vacation time. And the benefits last longer than where vacation isn’t part of company culture.

Here’s how workers from that type of company say they feel when they return from vacation…

  • Have more motivation: 71 percent
  • Feel more productive: 73 percent
  • Their quality of work is better: 70 percent
  • They feel valued by their boss: 80 percent
  • Satisfied with their job: 88 percent

Where vacation isn’t part of company culture…

  • Have more motivation: 45 percent
  • Feel more productive: 47 percent
  • Their quality of work is better: 46 percent
  • They feel valued by their boss: 37 percent
  • Satisfied with their job: 50 percent

Workers don’t really get to unplug and fully unwind at companies where vacation isn’t encouraged. One in five says they feel tense or stressed out while on vacation. Twenty-eight percent say they end up working on vacation, and 42 percent dread returning to work.

In companies where time off is encouraged, 64 percent of workers say their boss provides sufficient resources to help them manage stress. Only 18 percent of workers say the same in workplaces where vacation is part of company culture.

But they can still make the change and hold on to their best workers.

“Chronic work stress, insufficient mental health resources, feeling overworked and under-supported — these are issues facing too many workers, but it doesn’t have to be this way,” Ballard says. “Psychological research points the way in how employers can adopt effective workplace practices that go a long way in helping their employees thrive and their business grow.”

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Joe Pye

Joe Pye

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Pye is the associate editor of Debt.com.

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Article last modified on August 30, 2018 Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Study: Your Boss Should Push You to Vacation More - AMP.