An open letter from Glenn Stearns, CEO of Kind Lending
Take a day off! Go on, you’ve earned it.
You don’t typically hear bosses saying stuff like that to their employees. And it’s a crying shame.
If you’re a good boss and you know how to manage, your employees HAVE been working hard, and they HAVE earned a vacation day or two. PTO is there for a reason.
But what’s the aversion?
In today’s modern culture of the #hustle mindset, there’s an over-emphasis on working your ass off — so people rarely talk about the breaks you need to rejuvenate, gather your resources, and go out and start kicking business-butt once again.
Don’t get me wrong, if you head over to my Instagram page you’re likely to see a video of me talking to camera and telling you exactly why you should come into the office early, stay late and put in the hard work you need to make it to the top.
Why do I say that?
Because it’s a simple formula and it’s worked for me.
But I’m here to tell you something you might not have heard from your boss. And when you read on, you’ll find I have a very, very good reason to say it.
Take a day off. You’ve earned it.
Why ‘Always On’ Doesn’t Work
In a study that took into account over 5,000 professional Americans (all of whom worked at least 35 hours a week) researchers found that in the year 2000, these workers individually took almost three weeks of vacation a year.
We love to hear it.
But times have changed. In the same study of those 5,000 workers, we flash forward to 2015 and find a whole different story. This time, the average number of vacation days is 16.2.
That means that over the past 15 years, Americans have lost nearly a week of hard-earned vacation time.
And that kills me to hear.
There’s a lot of proof out there that vacations aren’t just good for workers, they’re also good for business. So skipping out on the benefits of vacation days not only jeopardizes the wellbeing of your workforce, it’s also a crumby management decision.
We’ve known for years that productivity takes a nose-dive when people take an ‘always on’ approach to work. Going flat-out with no time off to break it up. This sort of mentality can lead to burnout — and when that happens, the drive to deliver quality work disappears in a flash.
Poof! It’s gone!
I know for a fact that there’s a better way. A silver bullet to stop burnout dead in its tracks.
It’s called PTO and it should be part of the plan for every hard working Tom and Sally looking to rise to the top.
Time Off Tops You Up
You’ve no doubt felt the positive effects of vacation yourself. Maybe you’ve seen it second-hand.
That glow your co-worker has about them after their weekend trip to Miami with the hubby.
I’m here to tell you that there’s science behind that post-vacation glow. And those who want to excel at their jobs had better listen — and listen good.
A couple of years ago, a panel of researchers found that after just two to three days of vacation, the participants in their study gained, on average, an hour more of good quality sleep.
Now you may be saying, Glenn, that’s great, but I’ll sleep when I’m dead. Until then I’m on the grind! Gotta work hard to… [insert goal here]. To which I say, yes, that’s all fair and good. But I
want you to listen to the benefits that came along with that additional hour of good quality sleep.
That same study revealed that the post-vacation participants who were sleeping better also experienced an 80% improvement in their reaction times.
It doesn’t stop there.
Research shows that 73% of people who take a leisure holiday come back with measurable health
benefits (such as decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke or even heart attacks) — while 68%
of people returned from vacations reporting that they were more positive, not just at work, but in
their everyday lives.
This is great news!
So why is it that in 2017 the American population willfully passed up on 705 million of their hard-earned vacation days? When you look at the numbers, thinking like that just doesn’t make any sense.
So let me be a good manager, a good colleague, and a good friend when I say:
Take a day off.
You’ve earned it.