A recent Glassdoor report found that people who have paid time off only use about half of the allotted time per year. Most report being fearful that their projects won’t get done or critical details will be overlooked in their absence. Another big fear? That the company will be perfectly fine without them and they’ll lose their jobs when they return.
If that wasn’t enough, being worried about preparing for vacation with all the effort to not only keep up with everyday work, but also clear our desks, answer emails and tie up any loose ends to keep our team humming in our absence is enough to make us stay right in our seats.
But beyond being stuck at work, not using your PTO is linked to a variety of negative effects that can trickle down throughout your life. Here are just a few:
PTO usage and your health
This game of stress doesn’t end at not putting in a PTO request. In fact, there’s a direct link between time off from work and your health in massive ways.
Not taking time off for prolonged periods can lead to physical and psychological stress that affect your body. In fact, a Framingham Heart Study showed that men who don’t use their paid time off increase their risk for heart attack by 30%, and women who don’t use it increase their risk by 50%. In addition to heart attacks, stress can cause other issues such as headaches, depression and immune deficiencies.
Now more than ever, we need to take our health seriously. 2020 has shown us that nothing is promised tomorrow, and the healthier we are the more likely we are to survive serious situations that we may have never seen coming. Stress and burnout can weaken immune systems and create devastating effects on our health.
A wise friend once told me, “your work will always be there.” It’s true. A few days away to recharge doesn’t take away from months of dedication, perseverance and progress.
PTO usage and career success
Did you know people who take their paid time off are more likely to get promoted? A study by Project Time Off showed that you have a more than a 6% chance of not only getting a raise, but almost getting a promotion and bonus if you take all of your time off compared to your counterpart who forfeits their time.
Wondering why? In the book, The Happiness Advantage: Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work, author Shawn Achor writes about the American Psychological Association study that found when the brain thinks positively, productivity increases by 31%, sales increase by 37% and revenues can triple at an organization. The more you can produce for a company with a relaxed, positive brain, the more likely you are to be recognized for it.
In addition to that great news, people who take time off are also seen as more valuable team players because they’re less likely to be burned out. Studies show that burnout can lead to less engagement at work and lower productivity. This could cause strain between yourself and your co-workers and put you in a bad position with your boss. If we know that one great way to avoid burnout is by using our paid time off, it’s the ideal excuse to walk away from your desk.
PTO usage and better relationships, more well-adapted children
As if the reasons above weren’t enough to schedule a vacation away from the office right now, people who use their paid time off often report being happier in their relationships and have more emotionally intelligent children.
Arizona Department of Health and Human Services found that women who took vacations were more satisfied with their marriages. Arizona isn’t alone. Wisconsin did a similar study and found vacation can improve the mental health of women who are often weighed down by not only their careers, but maintaining a home, taking care of children and even taking care of elderly parents and sick relatives.
Children who have high parent involvement experience higher emotional intelligence as well, which will help them navigate many different obstacles at life with much greater ease than their counterparts.
So, when is your next time away from work going to be? Don’t forget to request your time in Kin now.