In an age where 24/7 connectivity and increasing workloads are the norms, it can be hard for employees to take time off. But companies should encourage their employees to take and enjoy time off in order to promote employee wellness, happiness, and productivity in the workplace.
Here are 12 ways you can proactively encourage employees to take time off work:
Encourage Employees to Take a Digital Detox
Encourage employees to take a digital detox.
This is an easy way to help your employees unplug, refocus, and enjoy themselves. Even if your company doesn’t offer paid time off, encouraging employees to put down their phones and computers for even just one day a week will be beneficial for their health and productivity. You can do this by offering the following:
- Incentives for doing so; i.e., discounts on gift cards
- An official “no phone zone” at work that includes no cell phones or laptops allowed during certain hours of the day
- A designated area in the office where people can go when they need some space away from their devices
Remind Employees about the Benefits of Taking Time Off
When you work for a company, you probably know that taking time off is good for your health and well-being. But do your employees? Let them know that vacation can improve their relationships at work, as well as their productivity and morale.
Employees who take regular time off are less stressed, less likely to burn out, and better equipped to find solutions when problems arise. Moreover, vacations can also help employees stay healthy by encouraging them to exercise and eat better habits.
Do What You Preach
You may be doing a great job as a manager, but are you showing your employees how to be good managers? You may be setting the bar high with your hard work and dedication, but if you aren’t taking time off yourself (and showing others how it’s done), then they won’t know how to break away from their official responsibilities.
Be an example by taking and enjoying time off yourself. They will follow suit if they see that you put in your fair share of hours at work. But if you’re always putting in extra time because that project needs to be on time—or because there’s too much work left over from last week—then this will send the message that it’s okay for them not to take any personal days and just keep going without sleep or relaxation.
Make it a Habit to Unplug from Work Often
You want your employees to take a break from their work and enjoy the world outside. You also want them to come back feeling refreshed and ready for another round of productivity. But how can they do that if they don’t know how to disconnect from work?
It’s time to make it a habit for your employees to unplug from work often, taking into account their mental well-being. Encourage employees to walk out of the office, turn off their cell phones, shut down the computer, focus on just themselves for at least a couple of hours and simply ask them to ‘enjoy your time’. Otherwise, they’ll burn out quickly (and possibly quit).
Create Company Holidays
One of the most important things you can do to ensure that your employees are able to enjoy their time off is to create company holidays. These days will be scheduled so they don’t interfere with any other company-wide events, such as annual meetings and retreats, and will allow everyone in your organization a chance to relax, recharge and reconnect with family or friends.
The best way for employers to encourage employees to use their time off wisely is by creating these days themselves—not just for their own benefit but also for those who enjoy working at home or remotely from home offices. This strategy will give everyone equal opportunities when it comes to making decisions about how they spend their free time outside of work hours
Show Employees that Work-life Balance is Important
When employees know that you value their time off and take it seriously, they’ll be more likely to see the importance of taking time off themselves. You can show them that work-life balance is important by:
- Encouraging your employees to take vacations. Employees who are able to relax and spend time with their families often report higher job satisfaction than those who don’t have this opportunity (and may even want more). A study by Forbes shows that employees who take a lunch break are more likely to be satisfied with their job, and say they are as effective and efficient as they would like to be. Encourage your staff to take the full amount of time allotted to enjoy themselves and come back refreshed for work.
- Encouraging employees getting fresh air and exercise during work hours through outdoor breaks or fitness classes held onsite (many companies offer these types of perks). If there aren’t any available at your company yet but would like something similar instead then consider adding an incentive program where each employee receives points based on how many hours they worked each week which can then be redeemed at the end of each month towards goods or services such as gym memberships or other activities outside work hours.
Send Monthly Vacation Balance Reminders to Employees
Employees are busy, and it can be easy to forget about the vacation days they’ve accrued over the past year. You should send employees monthly reminders about how much time off they have available for use in the following year. This will help ensure that your employees use their paid time off and don’t miss out on valuable benefits.
Have One-on-One Meetings With Employees to Encourage Them to Take Some Time Off
One way to encourage employees to take some time off is to have one-on-one meetings with them and discuss the importance of taking a break and enjoying some time off. By having these conversations, you can better understand why your employees aren’t taking time off, and what factors are preventing them from doing so. You can also use these meetings as an opportunity to motivate your employees to take a break by explaining how important it is for their health and productivity.
Provide Employees with Tools to Help them Unplug From Work
If taking time off is hard for your employees, there are alternatives that you can consider. For instance, you can give your employees the tools to help them unplug from work. If employees are constantly connected to their colleagues and the office, they’re more likely to feel like they need to be at their desks answering emails and taking calls.
Here are some ways you can encourage employees to step away from their devices:
- Provide a list of fun activities or places nearby that are great for taking a break (e.g., “If it’s nice out, try going on a hike!”)
- Offer tips on how to stay focused on work while away from the office (e.g., “Turn off notifications so they don’t distract them!”)
Set Up an Out-of-office Reply that Promotes Relaxation
Sometimes employees hesitate to take time off because they feel they will be distracted from getting all work-related emails and then having to reply to them instantly. To help employees feel comfortable taking time off, it’s important to set up an out-of-office reply that promotes relaxation.
The reply should explain when the employee will be away and for how long, but also include some language that indicates that the employee is taking a break from work and is not available during this time.
For example, if you are going on vacation next week but want to respond to emails while you’re gone, consider using an auto-reply that says something like: “I am currently out of the office on vacation until July 1st. You can reach me at [alternate contact info]. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns—I look forward to hearing from you soon!”
Encourage them to Do Something Unproductive
Sometimes we all need to take some time off and do something completely unproductive.
We know it can be difficult to remember, especially when you’re in the middle of a busy day, but taking small breaks throughout the day will actually help keep you and your employees feeling energized, happy and inspired.
Take a moment to think about what makes your employees happy—it could be anything from playing with their dog or cat, reading a book, watching their favorite movie, or listening to music. Then encourage employees to incorporate those activities into their daily routine so they don’t forget about them.
Heard of Mini Vacations?
To keep your mind and body healthy, it’s important to take some time for yourself every once in a while. You may want your employees to feel like they’re getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising—and also having fun!
So why not encourage your employees to try scheduling an extra day off on a Friday or Monday once in a while? They can use that time as a mini-weekend getaway with their friends or family. It’ll be a great way to recharge their batteries without sacrificing any work hours.
Taking Time Off is Really the Key
Taking time off should be encouraged by companies and managers to promote employee wellness, happiness, and productivity in the workplace. The benefits of taking time off are numerous: it helps your employees be more productive at work, it helps them be happier with their job, it can make them more creative by giving their minds a chance to wander freely with no deadlines or restrictions, and it gives them a chance to recharge their batteries so that when work starts up again after the break they’re ready for anything.
Taking time off might seem like an unnecessary luxury given that we all have deadlines looming over our heads all day long; however, these breaks allow both employers and employees to get away from our desks so they can relax and come back refreshed when they return.
Sample Email to Encourage Employees to Take Annual Leave
I’m writing to remind you that we have an annual leave policy. If you haven’t taken a vacation yet this year, I hope you’ll consider taking some time off soon.
Taking a break from work can be a great way to recharge and re-energize, but it can also do a lot for your mental and physical health. That’s why we have an annual leave policy—to help you take care of yourself so that you’re ready to go when it comes time to come back!
We know that not everyone feels comfortable taking time off work, but trust me: it’s worth it! You’ll feel so much better when you get back than if you hadn’t taken any time at all, and your coworkers will appreciate having someone healthy around them again!
If anyone has any questions or concerns about this email, please feel free to reach out.
Ready to Enjoy the Time Off?
Encouraging to take time off is one of the most important things that you can do for your employees. It gives them space to refresh, a chance to reflect on their own personal growth and health, and helps them come back with renewed energy and focus. The best way to encourage employees is by setting an example yourself. By taking time off regularly, you can show everyone else in the company how important it is to take time off so they don’t feel guilty about doing so themselves. And there are plenty of ways to do so.