Health & Wellness

Go Away! Why Employees Should Take Vacations

By Kandy Cantwell on December, 12 2018
6 minute read

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Chances are, your employees are counting the days until their next vacation. Who doesn't anticipate a break for rest, family time, or a change of scenery?

But, in reality, many end up forgoing their vacation benefits. Although most Canadians get two weeks of paid vacation per year, only one in three* actually takes it. Another 28% report taking less than half of their allotted vacation time.

If your employees opt to work instead of taking vacations, does your business win or lose? Smart employers know that refreshed workers are happier and more productive. Ultimately, vacations profit both employees and employers.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of vacations for business. We’ll also share our favourite budget-friendly travel destinations to get your vacation inspiration flowing.

why employees should take vacations

How Do Employee Vacations Benefit Your Company?

Improve Employee Health

Vacations can reduce fatigue and stress—and, in turn, prevent burnout and chronic illnesses.

There's a direct link between stress and headaches, cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and other types of conditions that prey on weakened immune systems. And these conditions can be costly for business. Check out What Are the Costs of Chronic Disease in the Workplace? for a deeper look. 

Men who don't take vacations are 30% more likely to have heart attacks. And women who take vacations once every six years or less are eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease or have a heart attack compared to women who vacation twice a year.

Besides the physical health benefits, vacations provide time to connect with family and friends. Such social bonding promotes long-term mental health. 


Boost Business Productivity

Workaholics might seem industrious and committed. But studies have shown that overworked employees perform less productively and creatively.

Actually, performance improves after time off. A break from work can spur new perspectives—and even bring solutions to vexing problems. OECD data shows that the countries with the strongest economies are not necessarily those with the highest average working hours.

Germany is a great example of a vacation-friendly culture: Workers get four weeks of annual vacation time, in addition to nine stat holidays. Despite so much time off, however, Germany is still an economic powerhouse.


Vacation Inspiration: 5 Budget-Friendly Destinations for 2019

It's your responsibility to make your employees feel good about taking vacations. No one should feel guilty to go away. Our blog 4 Simple Ways to Encourage Employees to Take Vacation will give you some great tips for supporting employees in taking time off. 

Encourage everyone to plan for vacations at the beginning of the year. This way, you can coordinate workflow as people leave and return.

For many, a vacation is synonymous with recreational travel. For some, an enjoyable trip might mean pristine wilderness, while others seek historical sights or Michelin-starred restaurants. But everyone appreciates affordable travel.

So to spark some inspiration, we put together a list of five exciting, but budget-friendly travel destinations:

1. Honolulu

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Whether it sounds enticing to hike up volcanic mountains, savour fresh tropical fruit, or lie on a sandy beach, Honolulu has all bases covered. Everyone can get some R&R on this beautiful island without the stress of exorbitant travel costs.

From Vancouver, there are numerous direct flights—and a round-trip ticket this spring costs less than $400 CAD

2. San Francisco

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Tony Bennett sang about leaving his heart in this scenic Northern California city. If you visit, you'll see why. From the iconic Golden Gate Bridge to the steeply winding Lombard Street, the city is visually unforgettable.

In vibrant neighbourhoods such as the Mission District and Chinatown, you'll see diverse cultures and taste authentic cuisines. A round-trip ticket from Vancouver can be found for just $300 CAD.

3. Bolivia

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With its famous salt flats, stunning architecture, and world-renowned trekking, Bolivia is an epic off-the-beaten-path destination. Travellers who make it here are rewarded with an abundance of adventure activities, plus some of the most beautiful landscapes on the continent.

Although airfares to Bolivia can be rather pricey (around $1,200 from Vancouver), you can get by on just $20 a day while you're there.

4. Cambodia

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With plenty of gorgeous beaches, steamy jungles, and a fascinating history, Cambodia is another solid choice for an exotic getaway. In addition, it's ideal for novice international travellers since the country is relatively safe and easy to navigate.

If you have a limited budget, but want to live it up for a couple of weeks, Cambodia makes for an inexpensive trip. The cost for a round-trip ticket from Vancouver can be under $750 CAD.

5. Reykjavik, Iceland

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From staggering waterfalls and glaciers to guaranteed wildlife sightings (think whales and puffins), Iceland is a place like none other. Iceland might be expensive, but you can get flights to Reykjavik for around $300 and the city also offers hotel deals for around $250.

Go in winter and you’ll be in one of the best places to see the Northern Lights.



Vacation is vital to sensible work-life balance. Ultimately, it's to your company's advantage if your employees to use their vacation time. With 2019 just around the corner, now's the time for everyone to plan for next year's getaway!


Next Step

Ready to learn more about how employee wellness is good for business? Download our free guide below.


Employee Wellness 101: How Healthy Employees Lead to Healthy Returns

Discover how you can improve the well-being of your employees and improve your company's bottom line with a wellness program.


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