Today’s Solutions: May 25, 2024

With travel restrictions in place, fewer Americans than ever are taking paid time off (PTO). But just because we can’t travel doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take vacation time during the pandemic. At least, that’s the opinion of Rhiannon Staples, chief marketing officer of the people management platform Hibob. 

“Six months of working from home is causing burnout and hurting work-life balance. More than ever, you need time off to take care of your mental wellbeing. It has a significant impact on productivity and creativity.”

For some of us, the pandemic has made it hard to draw a distinction between work and personal time when you’re working from home. By taking a vacation, you can redraw that distinction and enjoy some much-needed time to relax.

So, how much time should you consider taking? According to Staples, that depends on where you work and what your role is.

“We’ve seen a trend in taking extended weekends as opposed to two-week periods off,” she says. “It’s possible to reboot in a small amount of time, such as taking a Friday and Monday.”

With that said, taking shorter amounts of time can also help relieve the burden you may feel you’re leaving for your colleagues as many companies may be working with smaller teams after layoffs or furloughs.

“Think about how your work is going to get done,” says Staples. “Make sure there are systems and mechanisms to manage PTO effectively.”

There’s a reason PTO exists: to help the workforce avoid burnout. Still, only 28 percent of Americans max out on their available days during normal times. If you’re someone who has avoided taking PTO during the pandemic, consider Staples’ advice and see whether you can benefit from taking some time off.

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