Work Hard, Play Harder: Why You Should Encourage Employees to Take Paid Time Off?

May 10, 20179:57 am1507 views

Are you looking for a foolproof strategy to improve employee productivity? The answer lies in your paid time off (PTO) policy. How do your employees take advantage of their allocated paid leaves? Are they welcoming summer with a vacation plan on hand, or do they prefer staying late at the office instead? If you find that your employees tend to choose the latter, then perhaps it’s time you get them out of the office, more often.

Most people might be thinking, ‘Why would anyone ever leave their PTO unused? It’s a vacation time after all,” But the truth is, many employees are actually hesitant to leave their cubicles and paint the town.

While this case of ‘vacation deprivation’ is a global phenomenon, it seems that Asian and American workers’ enthusiasm toward vacation time, is left far behind than their peers in Europe. Based on a study conducted by Expedia, there is sharp disparity in vacation behaviour across continents.

In Europe, paid vacation is perceived as a part of employee’s right. For example, employees in Spain, Finland, and France are given 30 days-off, and they take all 30. On the contrary when, Italian and German employees are given 30 days off, they take 25 and 28 days respectively.

Towards the extreme opposite end, employees in Asia Pacific see paid vacation as a kind of luxury. South Korean workers are known for being the most vacation deprived, as they only take 8 days from 15 days available. Meanwhile, their peers in Malaysia enjoy 12 days of 16 possible days, and Thailand workers take 12 of 15 days offered.

Asian workforce vacation habits resembles that of the North Americans. For example, employees in the United States are given 15 available days, but they only take 12 days. What actually makes employees skip their vacation time?

According to Accountemps survey, 35 percent respondents admit that they take less vacation days because they are concerned their colleagues would have to absorb the workload. Employees are often worried that their coworkers cannot handle the job well. Fearing that everything will turn into chaos while they are away, they prefer to stay longer at the office.

Additionally, the other 41 percent respondents state that they take fewer days off, because they are worried about the amount of work that will be waiting when they return back from the vacation. Having too much work, these employees feel that taking some days off will greatly affect their workflow, and thus they choose to leave the PTO on the table.

Some employees might argue of not availing their PTOs, is a form of showcasing their dedication and commitment to the organisation, not to mention they seek to climb the ladder of corporate leadership faster than their coworkers. In fact, this is a common fallacy. Employees are no tireless robot.

In order to stay competitive in the professional world, their brains need a break to function, and going on vacation is one of the best ways to unwind, recharge and retain best talent with the business.

Here are few other reasons why you should encourage your employees to take Paid Time Offs:

See: Time to Hit the Town: How to Set up a Vacation Policy?

  1.     Improves productivity. Taking a break from routine work life will only allow employees to unwind, draw new inspirations and recharge their soul. Feeling relaxed, they will be able to think more clearly and work effectively when they join office back from a week long vacation.
  1.     Boost creativity. Going on holidays, especially availing of the paid vacation benefits provided by the company is a great way to seek new inspiration and work on fresh ideas.
  1.     Build healthier environment. Vacation is good for maintaining employee’s mental health. Moreover, it also helps employees to rejuvenate their body and mind. Building healthier environment means that there will be less sick-leaves, which eventually impacts your bottom line.
  1.      Increase talent retention. If you want to increase employee engagement, you should encourage employees to work hard and play harder. When employees are happy and satisfied with their job, they will more likely stay with the organisation for long and this will reflect in their performance efficiency and productivity.
  1.     Bring in top talents. Companies who have a reputation for endorsing work-life balance are most sought-after by top talents. Therefore, by supporting and implementing PTO policy, you can attract talent  interests, especially the Millennials.

Read here: Millennials and Boomers Favour More Vacation, Gen X Wants Richer Retirement Benefits

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