How many of you are already thinking about your summer vacation? My colleagues are buzzing about where they will go and how they will spend the coveted time away from work. Some will go to the beach, others are going to the mountains, and some are staying local for a “stay-cation.” What I have also noticed is the trend as evidenced by the number of my colleagues concerned about internet accessibility while away from the office. This made me curious. I wondered: “Is it possible for an employee to take a vacation?” and “As a manager, what can I do to ensure my employee has the opportunity to decompress and relax?”
While I may not always practice what I preach, I am a firm believer that taking a step back from work and disconnecting actually makes us stronger employees. From the employee perspective, taking my own vacation has obvious benefits. As a manager, allowing and even encouraging employees to take a vacation has actually proved to be very beneficial to the company. Below are three of the top benefits to not only approving the vacation request, but to actively encourage the planning, scheduling and use of those well-earned vacations hours.
- Refresh, Renew, and Reenergize!
Help your employees avoid the mid or end of year slump. Employees are tired and likely struggling to find the intrinsic motivation that pushed them through the long works days and tight deadlines associated with the end of the year. By encouraging your employees to take a few days off, your employees are likely to return refreshed, renewed and reenergized ready to tackle the new challenges of 2014.
- Demonstrate Trust
With the invention of the smart phone and world-wide internet access, it can be hard for an employee to disconnect. But with this convenience comes an increased sense of responsibility and the feeling that the continued success of operations is dependent on an employee’s responsiveness at all times. Disconnecting from the office encourages employees to trust in their coworkers and in you, as their manager, to get the job done. The ability to delegate, teach, and finally, trust, is an invaluable professional skill that is all-too-often overlooked.
- Build Decision Making Abilities
A group of executives were recently asked to rate their company’s ability to make decisions in their absence. At the same time, the CEO commented on how many executives really had to think before answering this question. By encouraging team members to step away from the office, managers encourage their team members to think independently and trust each other to make the right decision.
Not only do we all need a vacation, we all need to recognize that the world (and its subsequent business operations) will continue to exist while we are out of the office and even when we are away from a convenient internet connection. In the end, if five days out of the office turns into five months of increased productivity, motivation and employment development then I say “anchor’s away!”