According to an estimate, by 2025, 70% of jobs will be remote. Since you don’t work from traditional offices, you can choose your routine and enjoy working from anywhere in the world. So, why should remote workers still need a vacation?
Many people prefer remote work because it allows them to structure their day the way they want. However, if you’re not careful, remote work can leave you feeling exhausted.
Many people who don’t work in a traditional office feel on-the-job even when doing household chores or sightseeing. As a result, they never truly feel off the hook.
According to a study, 70% of millennials don’t use their vacation time. Out of those who do, 79% spend it working and responding to work-related emails (which isn’t technically a vacation then, is it?).
Not taking a vacation can have drastic effects on your health and wellness. For remote workers, vacations aren’t a choice but a necessity. Here’s why!
Your mind needs a break
Whether you’re working, cooking, playing with kids, or roaming around a new city, your work is always with you at the back of your mind or in smartphone notifications.
Many remote workers hardly truly unplug from their work.
An email here or a Slack response there may not hurt? After all, how much time can it take to pause whatever you’re doing and respond to a colleague’s query about something holding him/her from their work, right?
All these small things have a cumulative effect, and one day your mind is unable to keep pace. You start to feel sluggish, unable to make sound decisions, and you wonder, ‘what’s wrong with me!’
It’s brain fog, and it hampers your ability to concentrate. Your mind needs a break; it needs to slow down to get back on track again. That’s why you can’t skimp on vacation, or you can lose your mind and your job.
You’re more productive on return
Remote work can get lonely and monotonous. You stay at home during your office hours, and then you stay at home to do the chores. You only visit familiar places and interact with familiar people. Your mind gets stuck in a routine rut.
Nothing slides your performance more than a routine. Of course, a meticulous routine can be an elixir for high productivity. But following the same routine week after week, month after month, year after year—you know where it’s going!
The mere thought is yawn-inducing.
That’s why you need to make good on your paid vacation time, so you can return with a renewed energy and zeal to work. It’s difficult to unplug, but since leisure time improves productivity, it’s no wonder big companies provide their employees paid off-time!
Change of scenery boosts creativity
If you’ve been feeling uninspired and unmotivated for a while, pack your bags and get out of town. According to a study, travel changes your mind. It creates new neural pathways as you visit new places and experience new sensations.
So, pick your dream destination, turn off the notifications, leave your laptop behind, and have loads of fun! Dive right into the clear waters of Bali or snowboard the mountains of Alaska.
For a few days, forget about work, and when you return, you’ll feel fresh, excited, and ready to take on the world.
You don’t need to go far to spark your senses. Even if you can’t visit another country, how about skipping town for a couple of weeks? Visit another state or a city. Even a weekend at a beachside town like Inverloch, Victoria or in the suburbs can give you a much-needed break.
The flexibility of work from home can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s challenging to stick to a routine while juggling life and work at home within the same space and time.
Family expectations, kids’ interference, and work commitments press you from all sides. So if you’ve been losing your head on petty arguments, losing sleep, or missing deadlines, it’s a sure sign of stress.
According to the American Institute of Stress, 40% of employees found their jobs stressful. The remaining blamed their jobs to be the biggest reason for stress in their lives.
Vacationing can take the edge off your stress because when you’re happy, your body releases hormones to help you re-energize and relax. According to some studies, those who had a great time on their dream holiday didn’t feel stress for at least the next 45 days.
Vacation lowers health risks
Stress and sedentary life are two of the biggest factors leading to health complications. Continuous stress of maintaining work-life balance can weaken remote workers’ immune systems and make them susceptible to illnesses.
A study conducted on 63 workers eligible for paid vacations showed that leisure time can decrease the risk and severity of metabolic syndrome. It’s a set of symptoms leading to heart issues, depression, diabetes, and arthritis.
Travelling forces you to be more active, and fresh air can rejuvenate you mentally and physically. When you’re happy and relaxed, your body triggers the release of good hormones to remove toxins and boost health-promoting reactions in your body. As a result, your immunity improves and safeguards you against various diseases.
Time to re-evaluate your career path
Many people don’t go on vacations because they’re working toward their goals and aspirations. Others get so bogged down with work; no time seems like a good time to them to take a break!
No matter what’s holding you from going on a vacation, go anyway! Now is as good a time as it can be.
In fact, during breaks, when you finally get a breather and declutter your thoughts, you will find a ton of clarity. You will rediscover your purpose that got lost somewhere in the rut of daily life.
Vacations can put you in touch with your reality and give a sense of direction to your efforts. It’s an excellent time to re-evaluate your choices, realign your path, and ensure that you’re putting your hard work in the direction of your goals.
Improves sleep quality
When your mind is occupied by looming deadlines, sleep is the first to forsake you. Even if you close your laptop and put your files away, your thoughts keep racing no matter how long you lie in bed or count sheep.
If you’re a remote worker, chances are your team members are from different time zones as well. As a result, you might have to ignore your sleep schedule and stay up late to participate in meetings sometimes. Unfortunately, these disruptions lead to poor sleep habits. Unfortunately, many remote workers accept this erratic sleep schedule as a part of their reality.
However, the side effects of poor sleep quality are more far-fetched than an average person thinks. Research proves sleep deprivation can cause brain fog, confusion, impaired memory, poor responses, and even reduced immunity.
A vacation can be the perfect way to reboot and regulate your sleep cycle. According to research, the effects of improved sleep during holidays can last up to several months afterwards.
Better interpersonal relationships
Remote work can cause a lot of physical and mental stress due to a myriad of reasons. Effects of family tensions can seep into work relationships and vice versa. A remote worker treads a fine line of work-life balance, which can get out of hand in an instant. Especially if you’re a solopreneur working on your own thing, the stakes are too high.
You can lose your cool on petty issues or come off detached and self-centred in all this mix. These erratic behaviours can cause tension or hostility between colleagues and negatively affect relationships with family and friends.
Vacations can do wonders to mend your relations. First, they are an excellent way to blow off steam. Secondly, it’s a great way to bond with your partner and create cherishable memories with your kids. You can even go on a retreat with your colleagues to socialise with them.
Remember to take many photos and share them with your friends and family on social media. You can cherish these memories and rejuvenate yourself by visiting them often.
Remote workers face unique challenges in their lives, so vacations are a must for them to keep all the negative emotions and stress out of their lives.
If you wish to make the most out of your vacations, make sure to leave your work behind. Turn off all notifications and restrict communications only to emergencies. Off days are not only beneficial for your personal and family life but also your work performance and professional life.
Remote work increases productivity, but it also increases the probability of overwork and unhealthy work habits. Since you don’t work in a traditional office, going on a vacation may not cross your mind. Many remote workers tend to overwork till the point of exhaustion.
However, remote workers must unplug completely every once in a while and go on a vacation to avoid burnout, improve productivity, and release remote-work stress.
About the Author
Karli is a content marketer and founder of content marketing and SEO collective Wild Idea. With over 10 years in the marketing industry, she’s worked with brands large and small across many industries to grow organic traffic and reach new audiences.