The Hoosier state is full of hard workers. From executives logging in extra hours from bed at night via their iPhone, to entry-level employees finishing up a few projects at home on a Sunday evening, Indiana workers are largely not sticking to a nine to five daily schedule. This is clearly a sign of the times and in most cases, or a sign of satisfaction in one's career. But let's be honest, everyone deserves a break and more vacation days.
For business leaders and owners who might be hesitant to allow more than a few vacation days a year, consider these facts.
-Creativity drained. Working long hours each week, with only a day or two off in between (sometimes less), can be draining. Completing the same tasks daily and maintaining an unchanging schedule of work, work, work can stall creative juices. Sometimes it just takes a bit of a breather to rejuvenate and re-enter the workplace with new ideas and inspired plans.
-Permission slip not granted. Remember back in elementary, middle and even high school when you had to provide a signed note from your parent in order to leave early for doctor's appointments? Being told "no" to time away from work can make employees feel inferior, under-appreciated and in general, angry. Business owners and leaders should respect their employees and trust them enough to use their own judgment when it comes to taking time off work.
-Vacations keep you healthy. Taking vacations regularly can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and help keep you fit according to a study done by the University of Pittsburgh's Mind-Body Center. On that note, employees should also have sick days at their exposal, eliminating the chance that someone will come into the office sick and possibly cause others to fall ill as well.
-Take a cue from overseas. We may be the land of the free, but American workers are far less free to take vacation days than other countries. Many other countries, like Australia, actually have laws requiring companies to offer workers a minimum of 20 paid vacation days annually. Other countries require even more vacation days be offered. Here in the states, there are no laws for offering vacation days and as a country we offer, in most cases, far fewer vacation days than other countries, according to the World Tourism Organization.
Sure, not every business can offer a few dozen vacation days to their employees, but keeping employees happy and on point during the time they do spend in the office will make for an overall better workplace and more content employees. Here are a few tips to make sure your employees have enough time away from work:
-Encourage time off. For those workers who are truly passionate about their careers, vacation days may lay unused and forgotten. While it's great to know workers are dedicated, everyone deserves and quite honestly, needs a break from time to time. Business leaders would benefit from telling those 24/7 job-focused workers to hit the road and take some personal time.
-Practice what you preach. As a business leader, you must lead by example. If you see the importance in your employees taking vacation days, you should spend some time outside of the office as well.
-Offer an incentive. If employees need some encouragement to take some time off (even if just for a long weekend), try treating hard workers to tickets to a weekend Pacers game at home or within driving distance of Indy. Giving them a reason to take some time off will not only show your appreciation for their dedication and hard work, but it will also leave them with no reason not to spend some time away from the workplace.
-Let them decide. Whether it is two days or 20 days, only your employees know their own work schedules and how much time they can manage to spend away from the office without getting irreparably behind. Demonstrate trust in your employees by letting them choose the number of vacation days they take. While this might make CEOs and business owners a little nervous at first, they'll soon find that employees are responsible enough to handle this situation.
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