Venture Out of the Office to Decompress

Summer in Alaska

How vacations—whether stay-at-home or aboard a luxurious cruise ship—can improve business operations.

Brought to you by Crystal Cruises

Worker burnout can and does happen—and the business results can be deleterious. Productivity, creativity and motivation can all decline, resulting in workplace stagnation, even if the number of overtime hours is up.

One way to counter this is by making sure everyone from top to bottom is taking time off work. This may seem counterintuitive, with some wondering how efficient people can be if they aren’t in the office.

Well, if they haven’t taken a vacation in a year or two for whatever reason—fear, guilt or workplace pressure—they’re likely physically and mentally exhausted.

As an internal employee survey conducted by the professional-services firm Ernst & Young found, year-end performance ratings improved 8 percent for each additional 10 hours of vacation time employees took.

The cost-benefit equation is clear here:

Vacations result in increased energy levels, creativity and fresh perspectives, thereby improving companies’ bottom lines.

Natural Changes

There are several reasons for this type of post-vacation workplace rejuvenation, as researchers at the University of Michigan discovered when they took a look at how attention restoration theory (ART) can impact cognitive functioning.

After completing a cognitive test, study participants were directed to walk through either the busy streets of Ann Arbor, Michigan, or a nature-filled arboretum. Upon their return, the participants were tested again, and those who took the rural walk scored significantly higher on the test, with improved focus and performance.

That’s in part why some vacationers are drawn to scenic settings such as national parks or even cruises. Crystal Cruises, for example, offers a plethora of global all-inclusive cruising options that promise to bring vacationers closer to nature.

Its 16 incredible summertime Alaska voyages showcase crystalline lakes, bald eagles and sea otters, and spectacular coastal mountains—the world’s tallest. Summer 2019 marks Crystal’s last season in Alaska, so vacationers may want to jump on board for a final look at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Glacier Bay and the mesmerizing fjords of the Inside Passage.

Anyone taking these Alaskan cruises is sure to receive the nature-related benefits of improved cognitive abilities and lessened stress levels.

Becoming immersed in new surroundings and cultures can also alter world-view perspectives. A Crystal sojourn to Alaska, for example, gives vacationers the opportunity to travel to locations and learn from different cultures, such as that of the indigenousness Tlingit people, they may not have considered before.

When they subsequently return to the office, they bring with them a heightened sense of creativity to help them discover new ways of exploring and solving problems.

Stress Relievers

Vacations don’t have to lavish to be beneficial.

Some people may prefer to stay at home and barbecue, visit friends and families in other states or cities, or simply take to the road and to see where it takes them. These types of vacations can indeed be very restorative and bottom-line beneficial.

Others, however, prefer to be pampered while on vacation. That’s why Crystal offers such a wide variety world-class amenities, including fully appointed staterooms, full-service spas, around-the-clock services, top-shelf spirits, extensive wine lists, a wide variety of entertainment options, and Michelin-inspired cuisine.

Notably, vacation-related benefits can last well beyond the vacation itself. A study from the University of Vienna found that vacationers had fewer stress-related and productivity-draining physical symptoms such as headaches, backaches and heart irregularities after time off—and they continued to feel better even five weeks later.

Vacation Essentials

Although vacation time may seem like little more than a necessary employee benefit—or something people don’t want to use for fear of returning to thousands of emails—it’s actually essential to everyday business operations.

Without it, creativity, problem-solving abilities and general productivity decline across the board, which is why business owners, managers and other employees should take advantage of it—whether their vacations consist of friendly backyard barbecues or lavish Alaskan cruises.

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