It is no secret that many employees tend to overwork and therefore don’t use their vacation time. When they do take vacation time, they often don’t fully unplug from all of their work obligations. Surveys show that more than half of the American workforce don’t take advantage of their paid time off (PTO) or vacation days, often because of workplace policies about PTO. To be fair, some employees do not completely understand the different types of leaves to identify the right they should apply for depending on their needs or situation.
While you might think about the negative effects of using your vacation days, you should also consider how working without a break can impact your career, relationships, and wellbeing. To help convince yourself why filing for your time off is important, here are four reasons why you should use your paid time off:
1. You deserve it.
Many people base their value off of their productivity, but it’s just as important to remember why you have paid time off in the first place. PTO is your employer’s way of acknowledging that you need to rest, so don’t let those days go to waste.
Think of using PTO as a form of stress relief or self-care. If you think that you don’t have time to take paid time off, remind yourself that you need a strong work-life balance. If you’re used to the stress of your job, remember that overworking yourself should not be normal, and it can harm your health. Your vacation days are an opportunity to show yourself some care and truly enjoy being human
2. Taking time off improves your overall health.
Overworking yourself with no downtime can lead to a variety of health problems, like obesity, stroke, insomnia, cardiovascular disease, and depression. In other words, not using your PTO will catch up to you and may lead to physical and emotional breakdowns.
Using your PTO can even boost your energy levels, increase your focus, and reduce work-related anxiety. It is healthy to learn how to fully detach from work for the sake of your overall well-being. You need to recharge in order to be truly productive. With the “new normal” for work in a COVID-19 world, you can even ditch the 9-5 work day, which can benefit your body and mind in so many ways.
3. You don’t want to experience burnout.
Burnout is far too easy to experience if you work too much, and it can lead to unsatisfactory job performance, low productivity, and fatigue. It will affect your general health and mindset.
The good news is that if you use your PTO correctly, you can help prevent burnout. You’ll have time to reconnect with your hobbies and interests, ground yourself, see friends, and have a good time. Living life instead of just surviving work will help refresh you when you get back to the office.
4. Taking your PTO helps the economy.
Unused PTO days actually cost the economy billions of dollars because going on vacation or splurging on entertainment means contributing to other industries such as leisure and hospitality. Therefore, filing for and using PTO can help entire sectors of our economy boom, which in turn, keeps our country afloat. Go on a well-deserved vacation to not only help you, but also to help the economy!
PTO is essential to your happiness and work-life balance, and using it can help you flourish in all areas of your life. Next time you wonder if you should use your paid time off, go for it – you deserve time for yourself!