Vacations Help Business – By David Callif, CEO, BCM Inks

I just returned from a family vacation. There were 4 generations from almost 2 years old to 88 years young (not me!). We had a ball. We took advantage of almost everything the resort offered from a beach with boogie boards to 3 swimming pools with a DJ. While I was sitting on my lounge chair watching my grandsons and granddaughters play together, I started to think:

How did vacations become an integral part of our society? Also, why are they so important?

The idea of vacations in the United States didn’t start until the 19th century. The scions of New York City took to declare that they would “vacate” the City for their summer homes/retreats. Therefore, the term “vacation” replaced the British word “holiday” in everyday language in the USA. In 1910, President William Howard Taft became the 1st president to suggest that every American worker needed a vacation to continue to work with energy and effectiveness. Vacation time then evolved into defined paid time off.

Inc. Magazine did a study which shows that time away benefits a company. Vacations stave off burnout. They promote wellbeing through a reduction in mental and physical fatigue. Vacations enable others to assume different responsibilities at a company. This in turn empowers others and develops trust. Better group dynamics and leaders are one potential outcome.

The Center for Creative Leadership conducted research on the effects of time off for bosses. They found that bosses who take vacations come back to work more creative and better able to focus on long term company strategies.

Let me say that not all vacations are equal. In Europe, most governments and companies require their population or employees to take a predetermined amount of time off. As a matter of fact, July and August are the two most popular months for Holiday. In South America, their summer is during our winter. Most Latin Americans take some vacation time during their summer. The United States is different. According to the Huffington Post, 40% of Americans won’t use all their vacation time. Korn/Ferry International also surveyed USA executives about vacation. They found 84% had cancelled a vacation due to pressures at work.

Vacations offer many benefits. Encourage time off for your co-workers/associates. Be sure to take time off for yourself. Let me hear from you. What was your most memorable vacation? Send to dave@bcminks.com.