I am fortunate enough to have an amazing group of people who report into me at work. But I am on their case right now: I want them to take some time off. I'm asking them to look at their calendars from now until the end of the year and plug in the days they want off. I am not worried about being understaffed over the holidays or about them taking days all at once - I am worried that they will not use their vacation days at all.
Some people think that if you are taking time off you should be going on a trip. As I wrote about a few weeks ago, some families actually have more fun on staycations. For my team, I am trying to appeal to their ambitiously creative side: Isn't there a home improvement project you were telling me about last week that you are really excited about? Why don't you take the time off to devote just to that?
The point of vacations - as many people know - is that we come back from them feeling refreshed and more productive. And while that is ultimately good for business, it is good for the person, too. I don't want my team to feel burnt out on jobs that they love, just because they don't have enough play time in their days.
This same argument goes toward my husband. I've recently encouraged him to take some time off to spend in the very cool workshop he just built. Granted, I get something out of this too - the furniture that he builds for our house - but I think he needs a few days to work on projects that interest him without interruptions.
My goal is to make sure that all that free time on the table is getting used. Let's see how this goes.
Do you take all your vacation days each year? Tell me why or why not in the comments.