Have you taken any vacation time or PTO during the pandemic? If your answer is no, then you are not alone. In a recent survey, nearly one-third of employees believe it is almost impossible to take time off because they have too much work. Another study found that workers utilize less than 25% of the vacation time that they have earned on average. And these shocking statistics are under normal circumstances. Of course, during the pandemic, it can be even more discouraging to take time off. There are millions of people unemployed, revenue is down for many companies, and you might feel awkward requesting time off if you are working from home. However, taking a few days off right now might be more beneficial for your productivity than ever before. Here are a couple of reasons why you should take vacation time during the pandemic.
You may be overworked
Many of you are probably working longer hours during the pandemic. If you are working from home, the days are possibly blurring together; it’s easy to respond to an email or answer a call “after hours” when your computer or phone is at arm’s length. According to the National Bureau of Economy Research, the average workday is 48.5 minutes longer than usual. The survey also found that the number of meetings increased by 13%, and people sent 1.4 more emails per day to their colleagues. If this extra workload has been going on since mid-March, you can start to feel the burnout.
These new work patterns are causing many people to become overworked during the pandemic. As a result, it’s essential to take time off when you can. If you’re on the verge of burnout, your work will start to suffer, and so will your mental health. It’s in yours, your company’s, and your customers’ best interest to take time off to rest and recharge.
It isn’t easy to take time off right now
It is really easy to convince yourself not to take vacation time during the pandemic. You might feel guilty asking to take a few days off. If your company is struggling and has looming layoffs (or already had some), it can be discouraging to take time off that you need. Plus, there isn’t much to do right now for a vacation. Many places are closed down or have restrictions, air travel might feel too dangerous, and you may just be tight on funds right now. These are are all concerns, but they should not stop you from taking time off to relax and rejuvenate yourself.
Have a conversation with your manager. Express how you feel and how some time off will make you a more productive employee in the long run. You might be surprised how that conversation will help your manager better understand what you’re going through and how it might positively impact your work-life balance. Even if you are just staying home, it’s essential to take vacation time during the pandemic to take a step back from work and return with a renewed sense of purpose and motivation!