The Round Table

Does Vacation Time Really Increase Productivity?

Geeta Pandya, Staff Writer

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Whether it is lying on the beach under palm trees, sightseeing, or simply staying home and relaxing, vacation is something often looked forward to by millions of Americans. It is commonly believed that taking a vacation can increase one’s productivity and makes them more ready to work upon their return than they were before they left.

As a result of this belief, vacations are given in schools and offered to employees by companies. However, to what degree is this belief accurate?

According to several studies, there is a direct correlation between vacations and higher productivity rates. In one study conducted at Harvard University, the productivity of a sample of working men and women from the US and another from France (which offers significantly more vacation days) was measured. The results showed that the workers from France who took more paid vacation time worked at a faster pace, and maintained focus for longer periods of time.

To see if the results of the study correspond to the views of the people at Stamford High School, I asked a simple question to several students and teachers: “After vacation do you feel more productive or less productive than you did before you left?”

The responses were mixed. Many believe that vacation makes you less productive upon your return, such as junior Brianna Iorfino. Iorfino explains, “When I come back to school my sleep schedule is all mixed up making me tired throughout the day.”

Similarly junior Kristen D’Ariano says, “I’m much less productive after I come back from break, because I lose touch of what we did before we left, and can barely concentrate the first few days back.”

A common trend among people’s answers was that they had fallen into a cycle of relaxing, going to bed late, and waking up late over break that they find it extremely hard to adjust back into their school routines, making them less productive.

However, there were a few responses in opposition to this idea. Some claimed to be re- energized and more ready to return to school and work after their vacation. History and Civics teacher Marceline Fraser explains, “When I’m on break, I fully take a break and I am mentally prepared, so that when I return to school I need to get back on task. When I am back, I am very productive.”

Additionally junior Kaitlyn Filanowski said, “I am more productive when I return because I am all rested up from vacation.”

Another variation of the response that I received was given by junior Daniela Labrador, who says, “When I get back from vacation the first few days I am very productive and driven to complete all of my assignments, so it does have a temporary effect, but by the next week I am back to my original working pace.”

Overall when looking at the responses, the most common answer was that vacation makes one less productive than they were before they left; however, there was evident variance in responses. There were some – albeit very few – who believed that they were extra productive after vacation. Now that break is over are you more or less ready to go then you were before you left?

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