The best thing you can do for your career? Take a break. Those are the findings of a new study examining the benefits of leisure travel. According to the survey, those who travel reported better emotional and physical health and improved relationships and productivity at work. Additionally, overall well-being is one of the biggest advantages of travel, with the benefits starting while just planning a trip and extending well beyond the return home.
The research based on the responses of over 1,500 participants found that people who take frequent vacations perform better at work – and, therefore, receive more frequent promotions, have lower stress levels and sleep better.
The health benefits that most improve during a trip include improved emotional well-being (54 per cent), amount of energy (35 per cent), intellectual curiosity (34 per cent) and mental clarity (30 per cent). All of which are solid on-the-job assets.
The good news is that you don’t need to spend a fortune on 10 days in the south of France in order to achieve these benefits. Even a weekend away from home can give you a boost.
Several recent scientific studies have demonstrated that happiness levels experienced from vacations are largely felt during the planning and anticipation phase before the trip. And the rewards of a vacation tend to even out after several days away. That means you get the same restorative sense of wellbeing from a long weekend 100 kilometers away from home as you would from two weeks abroad.
In fact, some experts conclude that taking more frequent, shorter vacations are more beneficial than longer trips. This is because they come without the added stress of returning to your job after a long break to a backlog of work that piled up in your absence. “
A study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life found that more frequent, shorter vacations delivered much more happiness than fewer, longer getaways since the study didn’t find any relationship between the length of the vacation and overall happiness. Its lead author, Jeroen Nawijn, told the New York Times: “The practical lesson for an individual is that you derive most of your happiness from anticipating the holiday trip,” he said. “What you can do is try to increase that by taking more trips per year.”
Another recent survey found that on average Canadians don’t take three of their earned vacation days every year. That means that many of us are throwing away enough time off for a relaxing and restorative getaway that could give our health and work a boost. Don’t make that mistake; get out there and make the most of them. Taking some time off and getting away from it all – even briefly – is good for you and your career.