To-do: Take a vacation this summer

To-do: Take a vacation this summer

by Amy Beth Miller, editor, Communication Briefings

Last month, we were pleased to see that 44% of the readers who responded to our survey take steps to ensure that everyone can enjoy at least one full week of vacation. Another 36% said as long as employees’ work is done, you encourage them to take vacations. Several readers also wrote in to say that they encourage their employees to plan for and take vacations.

One reader wrote: “I encourage those I supervise to plan efficiently, work ahead, keep me updated on responsibilities that may need my attention, and take their vacation and forget about the office! We surely will survive without them … as they will without me!”

The sad truth is that not all supervisors feel that way, and not all employees are willing to escape from the office for several days. They worry about the cost, their job security and how they will complete their work if they dare take a few days off. However, research shows why vacations are more than a nicety:

  • Vacations give you a break from stress, reducing the risk of heart disease and heart attacks. 
  • New experiences boost creativity. 
  • Taking a break improves workers’ mental health and decreases absenteeism.

Half the year is over and summer is slipping away. Have all your staff members taken a vacation? Have you? Plan today to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to take some well-deserved time off in the near future. Follow this process:

  1. Send an email to your employees asking that they respond with their vacation plans for the next few months. 
  2. Check for any vacations that overlap. If two people can be out at the same time without causing any issues, grant the time. If you can’t have more than one person out of the office, talk to each employee about rescheduling the time. One may be able to easily reschedule, while the other is committed to a specific date. 
  3. Encourage employees who haven’t taken or planned to take time off to do so. A gentle reminder that an employee has the accrued time and a reassurance that the person’s work won’t suffer may be all it takes to prompt a hesitant employee to take a break.
  4. Complete the free Vacation Planning Worksheet provided in the Free Reports section at That quick and easy exercise will allow your team to coordinate assignments and ensure that top priorities are covered during absences. 
  5. Put the dates on your team calendar. Whatever system you use, schedule the vacations so that the entire team can see when people will be out of the office.

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