College students are done for the semester and many primary school kids are finishing their school years as well. It’s summer time in America. This means plenty of staffers out of the office for extended periods of time over the next 90 days. Standing meetings are canceled; project due dates are padded; and there is the discussions about email access for those on vacation. But as the summer season kicks off and many organizations experience an influx of vacation requests, it’s important to remember the benefits that come with a vacation—especially longer ones—for both the employee and employer.
A new report released by O.C. Tanner reminds us why extended time off is important and that its disruption to the regular order of the workplace is – in the end – worth it. Their survey of workers from across the country reveals that 66 percent regularly take a vacation that’s at least one week or longer during the summer months, and nearly the same percentage (67 percent) said it is somewhat or extremely important for them to do so.
For those employees who regularly take a one-week or longer vacation in the summer, there are positive correlations between their workplace engagement levels and work ethic:
- 70 percent of respondents say they are highly motivated to contribute to the success of the organization, as opposed to only 55 percent of respondents who do not regularly take a week-long summer vacation.
- 63 percent of respondents say they feel a sense of belonging at the company where they currently work, as opposed to only 43 percent of respondents who do not regularly take a week-long summer vacation.
- 65 percent of respondents say they have a strong desire to be working for their organization one year from now, as opposed to 51 percent of respondents who do not regularly take a week-long summer vacation.
- 67 percent of respondents say their organization’s purpose motivates them to do their best work, as opposed to just 51 percent of respondents who do not regularly take a week-long summer vacation.
- 65 percent of respondents say their organization has a reputation for being a good employer whose people do great work, as opposed to just 46 percent of respondents who do not regularly take a week-long summer vacation.
Although there can be additional stress on managers and other employees in the short-term when accommodating lengthy summer vacation requests, the data suggests that it can pay off in the long-term with positive effects on workplace culture, engagement, retention, efficiency and bottom-line results. Taking a cue from the data, organizations should recognize the opportunity to improve employee engagement and motivation by doing what they can to accommodate employees who take week-long vacations over the summer. Not only is it rewarding for the vacation-goer, but it proves beneficial to the organization as well.
About the research: O.C. Tanner conducts a monthly culture tracker to continuously validate their ongoing Talent Magnet’s research and track changes in workplace culture. They balance the sample to reflect the U.S. workforce (respondents are U.S.-based). The culture tracker also contains a rotating section at the end to collect data on interesting and timely subjects, such as summer vacation. For this particular cycle, they collected data in April 2018, obtaining 1,063 responses.