February 11, 2013

Tell your boss vacations are essential!

Oak Street public beach, looking south towards the pier.
Yesterday the New York Times featured an article about the benefit of vacations, down time and even naps to increase productivity.  Tony Schwartz referenced studies done in the 1950s and into early 2000, where scientists have proven time and again that rest actually increases our capacity to be more productive, effective and creative.

One of my favorite quotes from his article, "Like time, energy is finite; but unlike time, it is renewable."

The article discusses the benefits of cycling your work day into ninety minute work sessions interrupted with short breaks.  It is interesting to learn how those ninety minute cycles naturally occur during sleep and during the day.  Major employers have been studying ways to keep their creative teams fueled and moving forward - from the "nap pods" at Google's corporate offices to the ping pong table at FourSquare.

The accounting firm Ernst and Young conducted its own study in 2006 that showed a correlation between vacation time to positive employee performance reviews.  It's important to note the supervisors themselves noticed better results from the employees who had more vacation time.

Click here to read the full article.  Share this with your employer, and start planning your vacation...er, that is, your "Productivity Improvement Plan".