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Equality Bytes – EPISODE 5: Do You Use All Your Vacation Days?

The United States is one of the only developed countries that does not offer mandatory paid vacation. In this month’s episode of Equality Bytes,  Taylor Strecker hits the streets of Manhattan to ask women (and men) about a topic essential for work-life integration: taking vacation. Watch the video to find out what percentage of Americans leave vacation days on the table, and whether men or women are less likely to use all of their vacation days.


If you’re looking for more motivation to take time off, check out these seven reasons why taking a vacation will benefit you, your job, and your company:

  1. You’ll be more productive at work. Roughly 82% of small business owners who took a vacation reaped a boost in job performance when they returned to work, finds a study by Intuit. Moreover, for each additional 10 hours of vacation time employees take, their year-end performance ratings go up by eight percent, according to a study by Ernst & Young.
  2. You’ll be more creative. Taking time off to travel exposes you to different people and ideas, offering you fresh perspectives and pay offs in the creativity department.
  3. You’ll feel happier overall. Americans who take vacation have significantly higher overall well-being than those who don’t, according to Gallup.
  4. You’ll feel more satisfied with your company. Workers who take time off to travel report feeling happier with their jobs and their companies, discovers Project Time Off.
  5. You’ll be less likely to suffer from a heart attack. Women who only take vacation every six years or less are about eight times more likely to suffer heart disease or from a heart attack that women who take vacation at least twice a year.
  6. You’ll improve your relationships. Research shows that vacations help you break the stress cycle, get out of autopilot, and spend time having shared experiences with loved ones, which increases bonding and overall relationship satisfaction.
  7. You’ll sleep better. People score an average of an hour more of quality sleep when on vacation, which carries over when you return home, reports TakeBackYourTime.org. Which takes us back to point number one, because a better rested employee makes for a more productive employee.

For tips on how to handle time off—and keep from feeling overwhelmed when you return—read this.
Discover more work-life inspiration ideas here:
Ryan Seacrest On Work-Life Balance
Jewel On The Power Of Mindfulness
Tina Sharkey On The Misconceptions Of Having It All