With summer upon us, vacation is big on the minds of many professionals. While many of us look forward to vacation, it is not uncommon to also experience a sense of anxiety or even outright guilt about being away from our duties and responsibilities. By taking vacation are we being unproductive? Not at all! Research shows that recreation and balance are directly linked to productivity.
According to research published in the International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, recreation is a major driver of employee performance. These researchers found that recreation “increases the level of commitment, enhances bonding and improves employee wellbeing with a consequent positive effect on job satisfaction, service provision, customer satisfaction and productivity.” In other words, if one of your key objectives is a high level of employee performance, balancing work with recreation might just be the key.
“While working on “The Last Supper,” Leonardo da Vinci regularly took off from painting for several hours at a time and seemed to be daydreaming aimlessly. Urged by his patron, the prior of Santa Maria delle Grazie, to work more continuously, da Vinci is reported to have replied, immodestly but accurately, “The greatest geniuses sometimes accomplish more when they work less.”” –Tony Schwartz, “Be Excellent at Anything”
Balance is one of the main productivity principles suggested in the Forbes article “Finding Your Productivity Rhythm.” The article refers to the work of Tony Schwartz, author of Be Excellent at Anything, who suggests we work hard and we play hard. Schwartz says we should approach our professional lives like world-class sprinters. First, work intensely with focus, concentration and discipline. Second, take purposeful breaks to renew, restore and self-manage.
Social and behavioral scientists contend that a major source of organizational strength lies in a company’s intangible assets, not the least of which is employee productivity (Hutchinson, Kinnie, Purcell and Boxall, 2003). So, if we want to do something to benefit our organization and ourselves, a vacation may be just what the doctor ordered.
We wish you a purposeful, restorative and re-energizing vacation! Please reach out to us if you can’t get away and want to bring a bit of productive fun to your workplace.