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Want to Increase Productivity? Send Your Employees on Vacation

Want to Increase Productivity? Send Your Employees on Vacation
Credit: Liunian/Shutterstock

If you want to increase productivity around the office, you'd be best served by urging your employees to take a few days off every now and then, new research finds.

Bosses who proactively maintain positive relationships with their employees and encourage them to take vacation time are more likely to boost company morale, reduce turnover and increase productivity, according to a study from Randstad US.

Unfortunately, many employees said they don't get that type of support from their company leaders. Nearly 40 percent of those surveyed don't think their bosses encourage them enough to take allotted vacation days, and almost half said their managers don't allow them to truly disconnect from work when they do go on vacation.

Too often, employees think not taking any vacation time will help advance their careers. The study revealed that 38 percent of workers believe taking fewer vacations makes them look better in the eyes of their boss. [Unlimited Vacation? 'Thanks, But No Thanks,' Workers Say ]

It's critical that managers understand just how essential it is for employees to feel empowered to take time off, said Jim Link, chief human resources officer for Randstad North America.

"There is no doubt taking time off to unwind is healthy and ultimately better for the organization," Link said in a statement. "Vacations make for more productive and engaged workers."

When employees do take time, they often spend part of their vacation worrying about the assignments that are awaiting them when they return. The research shows that 46 percent of those surveyed worry about work while away from the office, which is likely part of the reason why nearly half of employees feel stressed after they return from a vacation.

Overall, many workers think achieving the right balance between their work and home life is only a pipe dream. The study discovered that 41 percent believe finding a positive work-life balance is impossible to achieve.

"Bosses who proactively encourage workers to unplug, unwind and truly leave work behind to enjoy time off will be looked upon as workplace heroes," Link said.

The study was based on surveys of 2,279 employed adults ages 18 and older in the United States.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.