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Employees Need to Take a Break This Summer to Avoid Burnout


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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What is the most annoying thing that a co-worker does in the office? If you answered leaving dirty dishes in the break room sink, that is pretty annoying, but not the top irritating behavior, according to a Accountemps survey. This staffing service questioned 1,400 managers to find out the most annoying employee act.

Sloppy work and not paying attention to detail takes the top spot with 41 percent of respondents. In second, the next annoying behavior is gossiping and taking part in office politics with 23 percent. The other irritating actions are missing deadlines, consistently arriving late to work and taking one's ideas as your own.

"Having to constantly double-check someone else's work is a sure recipe for tension between co-workers," says Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps. "The success of any team depends on everyone carrying his or her weight."

Although office gossip and politics does occur, it is probably a good idea to resist the urge to participate.

"Office politics can damage your credibility," says Messmer. "The most successful professionals build relationships with colleagues — they need this level of trust for effective collaboration."

If employees want to stand out for the right reasons, put forth your best effort, stick to your assignments, work as a team member and arrive on time in the morning.

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To find out more about Amy Winter and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



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