Use It or Lose It: Why Taking PTO is Integral to Workplace Productivity

By: Stephanie Hayman, Marketing Manager at TSYS

Vacation days are given to employees by law and company discretion, and are lauded pieces of our compensation packages. So, why is there such an invisible stigma in regard to using those precious two weeks to their full extent?

Many companies now offer unlimited vacation, which subconsciously acts as an even greater deterrent, making employees feel guilty for using their days. In fact, more than 700 million days of paid time off go unused every year by American workers. We use our health insurance and get free yearly physicals; we take full advantage of our cafeteria’s coffee pot; we happily take that company match in our 401K plans. And yet, there is a level of culpability or self-consciousness that ensues when it comes to taking all of our allotted PTO.

There is a complete fallacy between working hard and becoming the office ‘saint’ by clocking an inordinate amount of hours without taking a breather for yourself. Here are three key reasons why you need to take your vacation days:

Avoid Burnout.

Stress can kill, and abstaining from vacation days is not going to increase your level of productivity. Eighty one percent of managers believe that taking vacation time does alleviate burnout and will subsequently lead to a greater level of focus. Taking a mental breather allows you to clear your head, take care of yourself, and remember that good health and well-being are your number one priorities.

Renew Commitment.

Taking a brief office hiatus will likely up your drive and focus, as well as renew internal commitment to your company’s success. Eliminating the email push notifications from your phone and stepping outside of the office walls for a reset will put you back in the driver’s seat, ready to hit your goals, when you return.

Set the Precedent.

Historically, the United States doesn’t have a strong vacation culture, which is why many in Corporate America can’t catch a break from a health perspective. As a company leader, show employees that planning ahead, blocking out calendars, and enjoying guilt-free time off is integral to overall success. Skipping vacation doesn’t mean that you’ll be first in line for a raise or promotion, it just means that you’re not taking full advantage of your compensation package. Bask in that time off – you earned it!

Breathe, reset, and enjoy a singular mental health day or a week-long trip to the Maldives. Regardless, taking vacation time is synonymous with furthered success.

Stephanie Hayman is a Marketing Manager for TSYS and a current member of the RSPA Marketing Committee. Stephanie is a traditional and digital marketer with 7+ years of corporate and agency experience in the B2B and B2C realms, whose portfolio includes companies and clients like TSYS, Canon USA, KISS Products, and CityMD. She joined the TSYS team in September 2018 and earned an MBA in Marketing in December 2018.