As a whole, Americans have a hard time taking much-needed time away from work, even if it's just for a long weekend.
So this may be hard for some of you to swallow, but new research shows that sabbaticals — or an extended period of time off that can range from weeks to months — are a great idea for both employees and their employers.
Of course, you've probably already heard how vacation time can help prevent burnout and actually boost productivity. And this remains true when the time off is extended, according to the Harvard Business Review.
In fact, participants in one study who were on sabbatical for at least three months were also able to think of more ideas and reported feeling greater confidence in their leadership abilities.
Now, before all you workaholics roll your eyes and promptly return to work, here's a piece of information that just might sway you: Employers also benefit.
In the extended absence of one person, particularly a leader, others have to step up to the plate. If no one can, then this is a good way for a company to realize its weaknesses and adjust accordingly. And if other employees do rise to the occasion, then they have an opportunity to take on more responsibilities and grow their careers.
The majority of leaders who took a sabbatical surveyed found their interim replacements were more effective and responsible when the sabbaticals ended. Many also had stronger and more collaborative relationships with these coworkers when they returned.
This double benefit could be why 17% of companies now offer some type of sabbatical program, a number that's on the rise. And maybe it's the motivation you need to finally use those PTO days you've been racking up.