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Why you should encourage your employees to take a vacation

Everyone needs a break once in a while. And yes, that includes your employees. But encouraging them to go on an exciting trip somewhere exotic or even just take a few days off to relax at home isn’t only doing them a favor. In this Pacific Prime Dubai article, we’ll tell you the various different ways you can benefit from your employee going on vacation – even when the team is swamped with work and deadlines. 

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You’re in it for the long run…

Paid time off is a legal right in the UAE, as it is in many other countries. Whether it’s because employees don’t know what to do with the time off or they think not using their time off will make them look good, there are a number of reasons why some voluntarily choose to forgo their vacation days. In the short run, it seems like a win for your company. After all, you can get more hours of productivity from your employees.

But it goes without saying that a successful paid time off strategy requires more than a short-term mindset. Employees aren’t machines and working them to death will only increase the risk of burnout in the long run. In the context of the ‘Great Resignation’ and talent shortages in the post-pandemic world, companies that ignore the very real chance of burnout are shooting themselves in the foot. 

…And can’t ignore the importance of a positive workplace culture

Time and time again, we’ve seen that the workplace culture has the potential to either strengthen or undermine your company’s objectives. A positive workplace culture has a number of benefits, including driving productivity and business outcomes, as well as helping you attract and retain talent. Part of what contributes to a positive workplace culture is not just providing employees with paid time off, but also making sure there’s no barrier to taking the time off. Some barriers include:

  • No suitable person to delegate tasks to whilst the employee is away
  • A mountain of work that the employee has to catch up on when they return to work
  • Difficulty taking paid time off as the employee gets more responsibility after a promotion
  • An unspoken norm in the company that forgoing paid time off shows complete dedication

In this case, employers should have a plan for vacation coverage to remove these barriers. One way to do so is to cross-train the team ahead of time so that employees can help each other out when the other is away. This way, employees can fully enjoy their paid time off without worrying about what’s waiting for them when they get back. Moreover, you can spell out clearly that vacation days are important and model the behavior of taking regular paid time off. 

Bonus tip: Employees may not realize that they’ve got paid time off left, so it can be helpful to send out individual reminders to them detailing their unused vacation days.

It can lower your balance sheet liabilities…

Another reason why employees may forgo their paid time off is that they’d like to roll them over to the next year. This is possible in some companies, but not in others. So make sure employees know what your policy is and don’t end up losing holidays because they didn’t realize they had to use them all up in one calendar year. That would be very disappointing, to say the least!

Are you wondering whether you should let employees roll over their paid time off? On one hand, you’re giving employees flexibility to choose when they want to take their time off and the chance to accumulate time off so that they can have a longer break. But on the other hand, unused paid time off can be a liability that builds up on your balance sheet. Consider striking a balance by allowing a certain number of paid time off a year to be rolled over.

…and possibly your healthcare costs as well

Speaking of costs, your company most likely pays for a group health insurance plan as well. Encouraging your employees to take some time off means they’re more likely to be rested, relaxed, and recharged, which may reduce the risk of certain health issues developing and sky-high claims being made. In other words, paid time off has the potential to lower your healthcare costs.

Let’s take the Framingham Heart Study as an example. Its finding shows that:

Men who didn’t take a vacation for several years were 30% more likely to have heart attacks than men who didn’t take time off, and women who vacationed once every six years or less were almost eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease or have a heart attack than women who took at least two vacations per year.

Get in touch with Pacific Prime Dubai today!

As a global health insurance brokerage and employee benefits specialist, Pacific Prime Dubai has over two decades of experience helping companies of all sizes and industries in the UAE design, implement, and manage tailored employee benefits solutions that meet their organizational goals. To learn more about what we offer and what we can do for you, you’re more than welcome to arrange a consultation with a member of our corporate team

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Content Creator at Pacific Prime Dubai
Suphanida aims to demystify the world of insurance by creating informative and engaging content. As a wordsmith, she spends the majority of her day writing and editing website content, blog posts, in-depth guides, and more.

Outside of work, Suphanida enjoys traveling to new places and immersing herself in different cultures.
Suphanida