With the end of summer soon approaching, I decided to research some different approaches on the value of vacations. I recently read an article that got me thinking about balance between taking time off and staying productive. In the past I have never taken a lot of vacation time. A week away from the office kills my activity and it always seems to take a day or two just to get caught up.
Lately, I have read many publications that highlight the benefits of taking several weeks of vacation every year. The theory is an employee has a chance to unplug and come back revitalized and more productive. In the long run the increased productivity more than makes up for the downtime that results from vacations. The idea is that happy employees make for more productive employees. This approach has been used by many European companies for years and is now being adopted by organizations here in the US. USAA has started a campaign that includes allowing employees to buy and sell time off. “We think time off is actually critical to productivity. When people take their time off to refresh and renew, we believe they service the members more effectively” – Jeff Weiss, Senior VP of Benefits at USAA.
Does this mentality kill the drive of the American entrepreneurial spirit? I know when I am away from the office for long periods of time it is hard to not think about the deals I am not making or the opportunities I have missed. As with everything in life it most likely comes down to a good balance.
What is your opinion? Does more vacation equal increased production?