young people together on vacation

6 ways using PTO boosts your career

With the new year approaching, now’s a great time to start hatching vacation plans for 2024. Planning ahead helps you budget for your adventures, score great deals, and create a gameplan for utilizing your paid time off (PTO) to the fullest.

But wait…are you part of the 46% of people who don’t use all the time off you’re given?1 If yes, you may resonate with these reasons workers say they don’t use all their PTO: 1

  • 52% say they don’t feel like they need to take more time off.
  • 49% say they worry about falling behind at work.
  • 19% say taking more time off will hurt their chances for advancement.

While these concerns are valid, we encourage you to look at PTO differently and check out these six ways using all your vacation time can advance your career!

1. Time off work is good for your health.

There are many studies that prove vacations are linked to lower rates of heart disease and reduced stress, depression and anxiety.2 In fact, one study found that women who took vacation only once every two years were 92% more likely to have depression.2 And when you’re physically and mentally healthy, you’re more likely to produce your best work.

2. Vacation boosts your performance.

One study concluded that taking 10 hours a month of vacation time was associated with an average 8% boost in annual performance ratings.3 So perhaps you won’t fall behind at work if you take a vacation, but instead improve your performance!

3. You’re more likely to be promoted.

A different study of more than 5,000 people found that workers who use more vacation days are promoted at almost twice the rate of people who use less PTO.4 Could that be because time away gives you fresh perspectives and helps you deliver better results?

4. You may gain fresh insight on a work dilemma.

Psychologists say that if you consciously ignore a problem, your unconscious may reward you with fresh insight or a solution. Known as an incubation, this means while you’re snorkeling in the Caribbean, the back of your brain is still mulling over work issues in the background, which could result in an Aha! moment.

5. Time away from screens can boost creativity.

According to one survey, after people spent four to six days hiking without electronic devices, their scores on a creative problem-solving test increased by 50%!3 So when you take vacation, be sure to turn off notifications and put your phone down. Your creativity and problem-solving will thank you!

6. You’ll be happier and more productive at work.

Anticipating a vacation in the weeks leading up to it will boost your happiness, according to a Dutch study, and if you’re happy, you’ll be 12% more productive than your less happy coworkers.3 So go ahead and plan that vacation—and let yourself look forward to it!

We’re here for you!

Like PTO, voluntary benefits are an important part of a competitive benefits package. Our products help protect employees from financial risks and can include wellness options, broad family coverage and premium-return options. Get in touch with us to learn more!

1Pew Research Center, How Americans View Their Jobs,, March 2023.
2Everyday Health, Why Time Off Is So Good for Your Health,, July 2021.
3Wall Street Journal, The Secret to Getting Ahead at Work Is How Much Vacation You Use,, July 2023.