I'll never forget our first vacation as a family. We packed up the car with our two toddlers and set off for a beach trip that was going to be pure vacation. There was no family to visit, wedding to attend or business meeting to squeeze in. We were going to take a long weekend on Long Beach Island, and unplug from our daily grind. After a few hours of driving we got to our destination. The beach house was perfect, the sun was shining and the kids were overjoyed. I stepped back to document some of the scene. What would've been a cute video of my family pouring out of our trusty Honda Element and exploring our new home for the weekend was marred by one simple thing: my husband was already on the phone with his office.
Since then, we've decided that all of our family vacations will be for family only. We shut off work email and make it clear to our companies that we are unavailable. It can be a challenge to find work-life balance, but making time to reconnect on family vacations is one of the best ways to achieve it.
Good For Your Health
Work is taking over our lives in many areas. Many people work in non-stop work environments with global demands. This, compounded with the ability to work remotely on smartphones and laptops means that the defined hours of a work day have become increasingly blurry. When this becomes a daily habit, the resulting stress can be dangerous to your health and well-being. Stress is linked to the six leading causes of death, and stress-related ailments make up for 75 to 90 percent of all physician visits. Making time to rid yourself of the daily stresses of work is not only important, it can be a life saver.
Good For Your Career
Some employees think taking vacation time with their family could negatively impact their career. There is a widely circulated myth that working around the clock will show commitment and result in upward mobility in the workforce. However, studies show that not using time off does more harm than good. Employees who don't use vacation are 78 to 84 percent less likely to receive a raise or bonus compared to others who do take time off. They are also 23 to 27 percent less likely to receive a promotion. Why? Because taking time off with your family can lead to increased energy and creativity. When you get back to your place of work, you may find you have your next breakthrough because your brain and body are adequately rested enough to excel at what you do. Just plan ahead when taking time off work. If you’re concerned about finances, use budgeting software so you can reduce stress and have a relaxing vacation.
Good For Your Family
Working a regular job and then coming home to work your other job as a parent or spouse can feel incredibly exhausting. It can be easy to feel like you aren't giving your all to your family when you are preoccupied with work and vise versa. Taking time to go on vacation with your family is an important way to show them you prioritize them as much as your job. Exploring the world with your children can also be an important factor in their brain development. By exploring with your child and being present in their play, you are encouraging and promoting this creative behavior into their adulthood. Vacation is also an important time to reconnect with a spouse. And companies have good reason to want your relationship to succeed too! Divorce costs businesses more than 6 billion dollars a year in lost productivity, absentee hours and stress-related healthcare costs. It doesn't just benefit your family to reconnect, it benefits your job as well!
Work-life balance is a constantly evolving state of life. Taking time to unwind and truly leave work behind will help you nurture the relationships that may have been impacted by your daily work stresses, and can also boost your general well-being.