There’s never enough vacation time… (drops mic). All jokes aside, vacation is what keeps us going. Whether it’s wild partying, sleeping in a beach hammock or just getting away from it all- vacation is the goal. We recently came across an amazing article, looking at the scientific benefits of vacation, so we’ll attempt to synthesize that information for you now. So you can tell your boss that it’s not selfish, it’s scientific reasons for your extra holiday time of course…
Being offered vacation and taking advantage are two entirely different things, at least in some countries. Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UAE all offer 30 days of paid leave. With the exception of just Italy and Germany, citizens of those countries take all 30 days on average. Many countries throughout the rest of Europe and the UK offer 25, and in the case of each of those countries- every day offered is taken. Contrast that with the US, which offers 15 days- only 12 of which on average are taken and Korea, which offers 15 but only 8 are taken! Perhaps the most shocking? Japan offers 20, but on average, only 10 of those days are taken. Humorously, only 25% of Americans want more vacation time, compared to 68% in Spain..
There’s a science to the positive vibes and productivity that comes back to the office after a vacation. Unfortunately, according to a study by the Journal of Happiness Studies (apparently, that’s a thing), the positive effects of a short vacation are almost all but lost on just the first day back at work. Compare that to vacations over 8 days at a time, and the good effects have shown to linger into productivity, workplace happiness and overall likability for another two whole weeks! Basically: the best holiday strategy for workplace productivity and recuperation is to take trips of 7-8 days, not less. Though it doesn’t bode well for margarita time- the more you sleep, the more pronounced the positive effects on mood and productivity. Shorter trips don’t quite cut it.
Vacation is important and is clearly beneficial to your health, and the health of your work. It’s fascinating to look at the various work ethics and days taken from country to country. The results of these studies seem to be generally in line with workplace practices offered by new age firms, such as Google and Facebook, which have more relaxed work environments- designed to give employees stress relieving opportunities- like ping pong. With these studies in mind, we’ll consider shifting vacation patterns from many 2-3 day weekend trips to longer, more full on relaxation bursts, though I think both are wildly beneficial- whatever the results of the study. Our two cents: just keep traveling.
What’s YOUR vacation style?
Featured image courtesy of Park Hyatt Maldives, a phenomenal place to stay.