It seems when my friends from other countries talk about their family and friends back home, those folks are ALWAYS on a break. I’ve always been mystified, but now I can see why!
Many of the are Colombian. Ranking only behind India, Colombia comes in second along with the Philippines, worldwide, for total number of national holidays offered to citizens, per year. Comparatively, the US and Canada come in tenth and twelfth, respectively.
Hey federal-holiday-makers, here are 6 no-nonsense reasons why North Americans should get a happiness-boost and have more mandated time off:
1) Time Off Increases Productivity
Allison Gabriel, an assistant professor of management at Virginia Commonwealth University who studies job demands and employee motivation is quoted on Entreprenuer.com, commenting on productivity. “There is a lot of research that says we have a limited pool of cognitive resources,” she says. “When you are constantly draining your resources, you are not being as productive as you can be. If you get depleted, we see performance decline. You’re able to persist less and have trouble solving tasks.”
According to this theory, time off, on the other hand, allows a worker to recharge their resource battery.
Once we come back to work, we have all cylinders available to get to it.
2) Vacation Time Decreases Illness
According to the Huffington Post,a study of 13,000 middle-aged men at risk for heart disease found that vacations are good for your heart. Of the participants in the study, those who missed their vacations or skipped them for five consecutive years were found to be 30 percent more likely to suffer from heart attacks than those who took at least one week off each year.
3) Paid Vacay Decreases Stress
It’s obvious that vacations lower your stress level- well, hopefully. If it’s not a full tour of Europe in 5 days, with 5 am wake times, they can. And with the cost of stress-related health care estimated at $344 billion a year according to Forbes.com, sounds like everyone could benefit from some more vacay.
4) Time Off Increases Creativity
Taking time off to allow for an unstructured break, allows a bit more time for us to daydream. Creativity takes time and space to grow. Dan Sullivan, co-founder of the multi-billion dollar, Toronto-based company, Strategic Coach, advises entrepreneurs that productivity and performance start with free time, which he says on Entrepreneur.com “is the fuel for the energy, creativity and focus that lead to success.”
5) Vacation Time is Good for the Economy
An article on Forbes.com has some compelling arguments showing that paid time off is a boon to the economy. Says Forbes, “If workers used all of their available paid time off the economy…would benefit from more than $160 billion in total business sales and $21 billion in tax revenues, spending that would support 1.2 million jobs I industries ranging from retail to manufacturing to transportation.”
Sounds like a good economic move!
6) Time Off Builds Personal Resilience
In order to succeed, it’s important to learn how to relax. If you would like to build a mindset that allows you to meet challenges without panicking and cracking under pressure, it’s important to allow yourself the room to figure out how to adapt to changes when they arise.
In a report with ABC News psychologists stated that without proper down time, “the neural connections that produce feelings of calm and peacefulness become weaker, making it actually more difficult to shift into less-stressed modes. What neuroscience is showing is that we require down time in order for our bodies to go through the process of restoration. It is only when we are safe from external stresses that our bodies can relax enough to activate restoration.”
Proof enough that we all could benefit from making St. Patrick’s Day a paid, federal holiday.