Unlocking Peak Performance: The Crucial Role of Executive Vacation Time in Sustaining Success

August 15, 2023

Unlocking Peak Performance

We still have a few more weeks of summer left before that mental marker of Labor Day sends us back to school and back to work.  If you haven’t scheduled vacation time yet – you should!  Research has shown that taking time off will actually increase your productivity and may even help you live longer.

In today’s fast-paced corporate world, the idea of taking a vacation might seem counterintuitive for executives and HR professionals who are constantly striving to achieve more, falling into what some refer to as work warrior syndrome or martyr mentality. However, research suggests that regular vacations are not just a luxury; they are a necessity that can significantly enhance performance, creativity, and overall well-being.

In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of executives and HR professionals taking vacations.

Increase Productivity

While taking time off may seem counterintuitive to the productivity agenda, the benefits of a well-rested, rejuvenated employee cannot be overstated. Studies have shown that employees who take time off work are more productive than those who don’t.

A recent Harvard Review article pointed to an Ernst & Young study that showed for every 10 hours of vacation time used, year-end productivity went up 8%.

The article also mentions a study of 749 women where researchers found that those who took vacation less than once every six years were eight times more likely to develop heart problems compared to those who went on vacation twice a year.

Reduce Work Stress and Burnout

Executives and HR pros are more likely to experience high levels of stress and burnout. Taking a vacation can be an effective way to reduce stress levels, both physical and mental, and prevent burnout. Getting away from the daily routine and taking time to relax and unwind can help ease tensions and rejuvenate both mind and body.

Boost Creativity

Working in the same routine, day in and day out can lead to stagnant and uninspired thinking. Taking a break from the normal routine, stepping away from the workplace, and experiencing new surroundings can significantly boost creativity. These new experiences and the rejuvenated mental state can help bring new perspectives and innovative ideas to the workplace.

Set a Positive Organizational Culture

Executives and HR professionals serve as role models within their organizations. By prioritizing their own vacation time, they send a powerful message about the importance of work-life balance and self-care. This, in turn, contributes to fostering a healthier and more productive workplace culture.

Encourage Personal Development

Vacation time can be an opportunity for personal development, either through learning new skills, exploring new cultures, or spending time on hobbies. Taking this time allows executives to recharge and focus on activities they enjoy outside of the office. This can help increase overall job satisfaction, reduce stress levels, and improve work-life balance.

Improve Relationships

Maintaining personal relationships is important in ensuring mental health and well-being. Executives often have demanding work schedules, and taking a vacation is a valuable opportunity to spend more quality time with family and friends. This strengthens these relationships and can lead to a more fulfilling life outside of work.

Ways to Make the Most of Your Vacation

One common reason executives and HR professionals hesitate to take vacations is the fear of being disconnected from important matters. However, with proper planning and delegation, it’s possible to ensure that operations continue smoothly during their absence. This fear can be addressed by building a strong team, setting clear expectations, and utilizing technology for remote communication when necessary.

To fully reap the benefits of a vacation, executives and HR professionals can consider the following strategies:

  • Plan Ahead: Schedule vacations well in advance to allow for proper preparation and delegation of responsibilities.
  • Disconnect: Limit work-related communication during the vacation to truly disconnect and recharge.
  • Delegate Authority: Empower team members to make decisions in your absence, promoting their growth and development.
  • Engage in Relaxation: Engage in activities that bring relaxation and joy, whether it’s reading, traveling, or spending time in nature.
  • Reflect and Realign: Use vacation time to reflect on personal and professional goals, fostering renewed clarity and direction.


In conclusion, taking a vacation is not a luxury reserved solely for employees at lower levels of an organization. Executives and HR professionals stand to gain immense benefits from taking regular breaks. From improved cognitive function and reduced stress to setting a positive example and nurturing a healthier organizational culture, vacations play a vital role in enhancing performance and well-being. By recognizing the importance of self-care and incorporating vacations into their routines, executives and HR professionals can lead with renewed energy and effectiveness encouraging a more focused workforce and a healthier bottom line.

Recorded Webinar

In this session we share some practical tips for improving both the personal and professional lives of employees in small to mid-sized businesses. Learn how to give employees the time and support to achieve a healthy work/life balance, and watch as their enthusiasm, commitment, loyalty, and productivity bloom!  Watch today.

Click here to see all of our upcoming webinars.

How Commonwealth Payroll & HR Can Help:

Partnering with Commonwealth Payroll & HR will make your life easier! Our integrated, hire-to-retire HCM (Human Capital Management) platform with our Time and Attendance, Payroll, Benefits Administration, and Employee Engagement solutions automate and streamline your operations so you can have peace of mind while you’re on your vacation! Contact us today to see how we can help.


*The information provided in this article does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information is for general informational purposes only. Information in this article may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information. This article may contain links to other third-party websites provided only for the convenience of the reader.


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