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How to Encourage Your Employees to Take Time Off

Updated: May 29, 2022

A well-rested, motivated employee can be more productive and get more work done in a few hours, than a burned out employee can manage in an entire day.


Take Time Off

Professionals who take time off experience a myriad of positive effects, from improved productivity and performance to reduced exhaustion and increased motivation and inspiration. Paid Time Off (PTO) or vacation days are company benefits, like health insurance or a 401k plan. So employees should be pouncing on the idea of taking that time off, right? You would think so, but that’s not the case, unfortunately.


According to research from the U.S. Travel Association, Oxford Economics and Ipsos, in 2018, 55% of employees didn’t use all of their time off, leading to 768 Million unused days nationwide. Unfortunately, the U.S. has cultivated a busy, overworking culture.


With millions of people working from home due to the pandemic, professionals are taking even less time off. Working remotely makes it harder to set boundaries between work and personal life. This can result in the feeling that you should be working even when you’re “off” from work. Taking time off right now, even if you can’t travel to Miami for a long weekend, is critical for mental health.


A well-rested, motivated employee can be more productive and get more work done in a few hours, than a burned out employee can manage in an entire day. For workers to perform and feel their best, both in work and in their personal lives, they need to take time off.

One of the main reasons why workers don’t take time off is because they are worried about disappointing their boss, or, their teammates. That’s why it’s essential for employer leadership to take full responsibility for encouraging their employees to use the valuable mental health benefit of Time Off. Here are some ways companies who lead with empathy can encourage their teams to take Time Off, even in the state of a pandemic.


Practice what you preach and break the “always-on culture” (from the top)

An employee won’t feel comfortable taking time off if their boss is always glued to their computer. To break this culture of overwork, leadership needs to set a healthy