Business Strategy | Leadership / Management | Organizational Development

It’s not vacation. It’s life. Go live it.

You’ve got longevity, seniority, and a hell of a lot of vacation time socked away.

Should you take it?

It depends on which study you believe.

EY — the firm formerly known as Ernst & Young — says absolutely. Research by the firm has found that employees who use most or all of their vacation time receive better performance reviews, which might translate into higher paychecks.

Here’s how it works: The more vacation time you take, the better rested you are. The better rested you are, the healthier and more productive you are. The more productive you are, the more your boss likes you. Cha-ching!

But don’t pack your bags just yet.

Research conducted last year by Oxford Economics found that “13 percent of managers are less likely to promote employees who take all of their vacation time.” Moreover, the Wall Street Journal reports, “employees who took less than their full vacation time earned on average 2.8 percent more in the next year than employees who took all of their vacation.”

What’s more, the Journal says the health benefits of taking extended time off are overblown. To wit:

“A heavy workload and fear of returning to a big backlog are major reasons employees don't take all their vacation. Some may feel vacations simply aren't worth it. A person's sense of health and well-being rises during a vacation of two weeks or more but quickly sinks to pre-vacation levels in the first week back on the job.”

Confused? I don’t blame you. So am I.

I’ll tell you what I think, though:

Take your vacation time. All of it. Get out of town. Have fun. See stuff you’ve never seen before. Have honest-to-god experiences.

This isn’t about your promotion, or your raise, or your job security. It’s about your life — the only life you’ve got.

Live it.

I don’t know about you, but when I kick, I don’t want my obit to read, “He worked harder than anyone else … and then he died.” The world’s long on experiences, and we’re short on time.

Get out there and start experiencing life. Hell, your employer is paying you to do it.

Go do it.


Bill Sheridan