It’s no secret — Americans have a hard time detaching from work, and with the rise of technology, it’s become even more challenging. But there are signs Americans’ vacation behavior may finally be changing for the better.
Workers in the U.S. took an average 17.2 days of vacation in 2017, up from 16.8 in 2016, according to U.S. Travel’s Protect: Time Off coalition. The climb marks the third straight year of increased vacation time. And as the summer peak travel season gets underway, domestic airlines are expecting the busiest in history. According to a forecast by Airlines for America (A4A), 246.1 million passengers are expected to fly with U.S. airlines between June 1 and Aug. 31, 2018.
Steve McClatchy, a leading time management & productivity expert and author of “Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress, and Lead By Example,” tells Yahoo Finance’s Seana Smith that businesses benefit from employees taking more time off because it boosts their productivity.
“If you only consider the immediate cost to a business of a vacation then it’s no surprise that managers don’t support their employees taking them,” said McClatchy. “But if you factor in the cost of having a burned-out employee, then it becomes a no-brainer — the cost of a disengaged employee versus one who is engaged in their job but takes a vacation is much higher.”
“Employers should endorse, support and encourage employees to take vacations,” said McClathy. “It benefits employees’ health, reduces stress, and improves sleeping and relationships.”
But it’s not just enough to take a vacation – you need to put down your smartphone and cut yourself off from work. Because if you don’t, it’s “a recipe for disaster.”
What’s the best way to unplug and enjoy your time off? McClathy outlined five tips for Yahoo Finance:
- Notify clients of your vacation plans.
- Craft an effective out-of-office auto-reply.
- Set boundaries.
- Have a trusted colleague cover your inbox.
- Schedule exactly when you’re going to re-engage.