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The Importance of Vacation for Employees

When was the last time you took a vacation? Or your employees? Though employees say vacation time is important, many of them don’t use it. More than half of Americans leave vacation time on the table, accumulating to 705 million days in 2017.[1] Personal and professional responsibilities can wear on employees when they don’t take time off, leading to stress and productivity problems. A vacation has benefits beyond preventing these problems.

Vacation time is healthy

Vacation can be as important to wellness as eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep. It provides an occasion to look forward to, and an opportunity for people to break up their routines and have “me” time. Vacations are often a good time to revisit daily health habits, consider a long-term improvement, spend quality time with family, and practice self-care. When people make time for self-care, it can help them achieve all this—and reduce stress, too.[2]

Our state of mind affects our personal and professional lives. Research shows that happier people are more likely to enjoy robust health, fulfilling marriages and relationships, high incomes, and superior work performance.[3]

Communication is key

When employees leave vacation time on the table, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have unsupportive managers. A lack of communication may be the cause instead. According to Project: Time Off’s “Overwhelmed America Study,” 67 percent of employees said they heard either nothing, mixed messages, or negative messages about taking vacation time.[4]

To prevent this, encourage your employees to recognize the importance of vacation time. Do your best to put their minds at ease if they’re worried about coming back to an overwhelming workload. And, if possible, let them know you’ll work with them to reschedule or redistribute their work. Your team will feel stronger when they know can leave their work behind worry free, and that they can count on one another.

It’s important for everyone, at every level, to recharge and refocus—and feel comfortable doing so. Don’t let yourself or your leadership team forget about their vacation time. If employees see that everyone takes time off, they may be more likely to follow suit.

UPMC Health Plan is the ticket to worry-free traveling

Now that your employees know the benefits of taking a vacation, they can rest assured that UPMC Health Plan ensures members and their covered dependents always have access to high-quality care. UPMC Health Plan members can access urgent or emergency care while traveling thanks to our extended national network. Other options include:

  • UPMC MyHealth 24/7 Nurse Line: Members can talk to a registered nurse who will tell them how to treat their condition at home or advise them to seek care.*
  • Virtual visits: UPMC AnywhereCare allows members and their covered dependents, including children,† to access high-quality care using their computer or mobile device—24/7. It’s an easy way for members to have a virtual visit with a provider for nonemergency conditions, including colds, allergies, rashes, and pink eye.**
  • Global emergency travel assistance: UPMC Health Plan members can travel anywhere in the world with the peace of mind that comes from having access to Assist America. This service can connect them to doctors, hospitals, and other emergency services—free of charge.***

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*UPMC nurses who answer calls are licensed to assist members in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, New York, and Ohio. Members must be located in one of those states when calling the UPMC MyHealth 24/7 Nurse Line. The UPMC MyHealth 24/7 Nurse Line is not a substitute for medical care. If an emergency arises, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department. Nurses cannot answer plan or benefit questions. Please call the Member Services phone number on the back of your member ID card for nonclinical inquiries.

UPMC Children’s AnywhereCare is available only to patients who are in Pennsylvania. In order for a child to have a UPMC Children’s AnywhereCare visit, the child’s parent or legal guardian must be with the child during the video portion of the visit, and the child and parent or legal guardian must be in Pennsylvania during the visit. UPMC Health Plan members located in Pennsylvania at the time of virtual visit may select a UPMC-employed provider or a provider from Online Care Network II P.C. (OCN), subject to availability and discretion of the provider. Members located outside of Pennsylvania will receive service from OCN. OCN is not an affiliate of UPMC. Limitations may apply for members of ASO plans that have opted out of coverage.

**UPMC Health Plan members located in Pennsylvania at the time of virtual visit may select a UPMC-employed provider or a provider from Online Care Network II P.C. (OCN), subject to availability and discretion of the provider. Members located outside of Pennsylvania will receive service from OCN. OCN is not an affiliate of UPMC. Limitations may apply for members of ASO plans that have opted out of coverage.

***Assist America is not travel or medical insurance, and its services do not replace health coverage while you are away from home. All services must be arranged and provided by Assist America. Bills for any medical costs you incur should be submitted to UPMC Health Plan. They will be subject to the policy limits of your health coverage.

Sources

[1] Project: Time Off. (2018). State of the American vacation 2018. Retrieved March 28, 2019, from U.S. Travel Association website:http://www.ustravel.org/research/state-american-vacation-2018

[2] University at Buffalo School of Social Work. Introduction to self-care. Retrieved March 28, 2019, from University at Buffalo website: https://socialwork.buffalo.edu/resources/self-care-starter-kit/introduction-to-self-care.html#title_6

[3] Project: Time Off. The high price of silence: analyzing the business implications of an under-vacationed workforce. Retrieved March 28, 2019, from U.S. Travel Association website: www.ustravel.org/sites/default/files/media_root/document/High_Price-of_Silence_FINAL.pdf

[4] Project: Time Off. The mind of a manager: What your boss really thinks about vacation. Retrieved March 28, 2019, from U.S. Travel Association website: www.ustravel.org/research/mind-manager-what-your-boss-really-thinks-about-vacation