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Employees need to take a break this summer to avoid burnout

POSTED May 30, 2013 10:55 a.m.

With the official start of summer around the corner, employees should look forward to taking a break and enjoying some free time. Even if it means staying home for a staycation, workers need to step away from the office for some rest and relaxation.

But according to a CareerBuilder survey that questioned more than 5,600 employees, many workers unfortunately can't take vacation this summer due to financial hardships and challenging workloads. Twenty-four percent of respondents lack the funds to travel, while 12 percent of respondents just haven't planned a trip.

Of those respondents hoping to take time off from work, 3 in 10 employees will bring assignments on their trip. And 30 percent of workers plan to contact the office while on vacation.

"Taking advantage of vacation or paid time-off benefits is critical not only to your well-being, but also to your overall job performance," says Rosemary Haefner, CareerBuilder's vice president of human resources. "Workers who set aside time for R&R tend to have less burnout, more creative energy and higher quality output.

"While financial challenges and heavy workloads may make vacation planning difficult, it's important to find time to recharge away or at home. It can ultimately translate into a more gratifying work experience that benefits you, your family and your employer."

It seems that more employees feel better taking a vacation as the economy has improved. Twenty-four percent of respondents plan to take three to five days of vacation, 26 percent have requested seven to 10 days and 11 percent want to take two weeks or longer.

Haefner gives advice in order to have a true "break" from the office:

— Request your vacation time in advance. If possible, plan your trip before or after big projects and events.

— Avoid feeling guilty. Don't feel at fault for using your vacation days. They are there to give you a break.

— Inquire about discounts. Some companies provide price cuts on travel or certain entertainment activities.

— Plan ahead. Before you leave, make sure that your co-workers can cover your assignments.

— Space out your days. If you can't take several days at once, consider using a few days at a time throughout the year. You don't want to waste your paid vacation days.

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