In the spirit of being a high achiever, you haven’t gotten around to using your vacation time. I’m here to tell you that you are not doing yourself a favour by sitting on that mound of hours. Using your vacation time is better for you than you think; not only for your workplace wellness and stress management but also for your career goals.

The American campaign “Project: Time Off” found that employees who use their vacation PTO (paid time off) have a better chance of getting a raise, bonus, or promotion after they return from vacation. More specifically, Project: Time Off found that:

  1. 27% of vacationers were given a raise or bonus compared to 23% of non-vacationers; and
  2. 84% of vacationers who used all their time off were given a raise or bonus in the previous three years, compared to 78% of non-vacationers.

For example, consider if you were a business. Between two equally qualified and tenured employees, who would you be more likely to promote:

  • an employee who does not use their vacation time; or
  • an employee who uses their vacation time?

The sustainable business decision would favor promoting the employee who uses their vacation time because there is no payable vacation balance liability. Furthermore, a study by Harvard Business Review found that well-vacationed employees tend to be more efficient and productive because limited desk time forces efficiency.

So, taking vacation time will increase your probability of receiving a financial incentive, it is more in the interest of the company balance sheets, and it will make you more productive overall. This is good news for you, but not for people who don’t know this.

Unfortunately, Project: Time Off also found that 55% of Americans are not taking their full vacation allotment due to the fear of appearing replaceable, the fear of stagnant career development, or family obligations. The campaign also found that not only are women more likely to experience feelings of guilt and stress when taking vacation time, but they are also more likely worry about how vacation time will affect their career progression.

To add, Canadians have 19 federally mandated days off, while our American neighbors only have 10. The fact that North Americans are on the lower end of vacation entitlement is all the more reason why you need to use the vacation time you are given. Worst case scenario, not using your full vacation time allotment could give the impression that you don’t need your vacation time.

How much vacation time other countries get compared to Americans
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Besides, taking a vacation has been proven to be beneficial despite all the misleading reasons why people think they shouldn’t take it. Conclusion: go work on that tan with a margarita in hand, girl!