By Lisa Purichia
Partner, Director of Accounting Services & Retirement Plan Services
Now that the weather is warming up and the traditional time to plan for vacations is upon us, you might want to make it a priority to plan for some well-deserved Rest & Relaxation (R&R)!
As HR specialists have told us again and again, one of the critical ways of improving personal productivity and providing for positive mental health is to make time for periods away from the daily hustle of work and everyday family life. A change in environment with the intent of doing something “different” is healthy for both you and your family. Removing the daily stress is important to preventing burnout, and in re-energizing yourself, you will find the same by-product benefit for your spouse and family.
It’s important for business owners and managers to encourage (maybe mandate) employees to get away from the office, leave their workload behind and disconnect. They need to shut off their computers, tune out the emails and turn on “out of office greetings” and voicemail. Studies show that reducing screen time decreases stress, improves sleep, leads to a less sedentary lifestyle and lowers the risk of depression.
Of course, limiting our engagement with communication devices can be difficult in this age of constant contact. Employees may hesitate and ask, “But what about our great client relationships based on 24/7 responsiveness?” Customers understand the need for vacations (they take them too!), especially when they involve time with loved ones. Plus, most businesses are built with a certain amount of redundancy to ensure that other team members can help customers when an employee is out of the office.
Engage in activities outside of your daily routines. Go someplace different, maybe even exotic. Take long walks on the beach. Get lost in a good book. You’ll be amazed at what just a week (or a long weekend) away from the workplace will do for your wellbeing. You don’t even have to leave the Hoosier state. Ever been to the Indy 500? Make this year your first race! Or take your younger loved ones to the Children’s Museum. French Lick resorts are great, and Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari can be great for the kids or grandkids! Maybe just cherish more quiet time relaxing at home. Take a nap on your hammock, or cook hot dogs over your firepit.
Many of you may feel guilty about taking a vacation and view it as some kind of “disruption” of work. But it’s actually a boon for your business side. The regeneration of energy and perspective that comes from vacation boosts employee morale, increases productivity and ensures a stronger, healthier workforce.
You deserve — nay, need — a vacation! The sun is out, so plan for one!
However, it only happens if you ACT to plan it now!