Robert Half Management Resources

3 good reasons to take a work-free vacation

July 11, 2012: 12:52 PM ET

Are you tempted to get away for a real break, checking in with the office only rarely if at all, but feel the need to explain why? We're here to help.

FORTUNE -- So you're packing to go away for a few days, and your loved ones are giving you the stink eye as you slip electronic devices into your suitcase right next to the snorkel and sunscreen. Oh no, you're going to spend the whole vacation working — again — aren't you? Understandable, of course: It's their vacation too, and they'd really like to have some fun (remember fun?) with you. But what if people at work expect to hear from you daily while you're away? A few points you could drop into the conversation at the office:

1. You trust your team implicitly, so constant check-ins are unnecessary.

More than half (51%) of chief financial officers say they'll make a clean break from the office while on vacation, with no plans to check in at all, according to a new poll by finance and accounting recruiters Robert Half Management Resources. That's nearly double the percentage (26%) who said so in a similar survey two years ago.

"We're seeing a continuing trend of executives unplugging completely while on vacation," says Paul McDonald, a Robert Half senior executive director. "It may indicate that managers have a stronger level of confidence in their teams and processes and, as a result, feel more comfortable leaving others in charge."

A side benefit to a hands-off getaway, he adds: "Placing trust in a solid team to carry on without you for a little while can help you identify strong candidates for succession planning and promotion."

2. You'll come back energized — and more productive — if you take a real vacation.

So will colleagues, inspired by your example, who get away completely. "Managers send a positive message when they disconnect, since employees may be inclined to follow suit," McDonald notes.

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"Vacations play a big role in superior job performance," says Lois Frankel, president of Pasadena-based Corporate Coaching International, whose clients include heavy hitters like Lockheed Martin (LMT), Warner Brothers, Disney (DIS), and TRW. "But you only get that benefit if you return relaxed and refreshed" — not if you come back as preoccupied with the daily grind as you were when you took off.


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