Posted by Kellie Shadle on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 00:00
With the official start to summer right around the corner, many U.S. professionals are likely daydreaming of some fun in the sun. However, a good number of them will likely forgo taking a summer vacation.
According to a recent Robert Half survey, about four in 10 workers won't use all their paid vacation days. (Take a look at some of the reasons they gave for not taking time off in the infographic below.)
Creative professionals are notorious for working long hours. Deadlines are always looming and some may worry about projects piling up if they go on vacation (or take a staycation). But all work and no play can actually erode creativity and lead to burnout. Studies have even shown that people are happier and more productive when they take time off.
No matter how heavy your workload, here are some ways to enjoy the summer so you can return to work with a fresh perspective come fall:
- Schedule a few long weekends. If you have the time, consider taking a few Fridays off for extended weekends. You'd be surprised how big an impact this small schedule change can have on your overall well-being. Use the time to pursue a passion project or check off your normal weekend to-dos so you can actually relax on Saturday and Sunday.
- Consider a flex schedule. Ask your manager if you can work a flexible schedule during the summer months. Some companies allow their employees to take a half-day on Friday (having worked longer hours during the week). That way you can get a jump on your weekend and keep your workload in check.
- Unplug. Taking time off where you don't unplug from work is almost as bad as not taking time off at all. If you must check in, schedule specific times to review email or voicemail.
- Bring in reinforcements. If you're a manager, consider hiring freelancers to take on some of your team's workload. Your employees will appreciate the reprieve (and feel less guilty about taking a summer vacation) and you can feel confident that projects will stay on track.
When you consider the pace at which most of us move every day, attaining work-life balance should be a priority. So do your part and take your vacation days this year!
Related post: Summer Bucket Lists