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Take Time Off? Or Take Advantage Of Co-Workers' Time Off?

All work and no play? Or work hard, play hard? Research is divided on the effect of time off on productivity.
Posted at 1:14 PM, Jul 31, 2015

When the weather heats up, it's hard to avoid the temptation to take a week and enjoy the summer ... or is it? Or should it be? 

Turns out, vacation time is more complicated, and less popular, than you'd think. People can't seem to agree on whether you should get out of the office during the summer. 

Some research says we would be better off if everybody took a few weeks off in the summer — like everyone in Sweden can. (Video via Expedia)

A study from Uppsala University in Sweden shows the more collective a society's vacation, the happier and more productive the workforce is. Following that logic, yes, you should take a vacation in July and August, along with everyone else in your office. 

Predictably, MasterCard has a whole ad campaign based around not skipping out on your vacation time.

"That's the stupidest thing I ever heard," one child in the ad says.

"They're paid vacation days!" another child laments.

But others say to let those bums go to the beach; you can get more work done and impress your boss while they're gone.

This seems to be the prevailing view among new workers. An increasing part of the workforce leaves vacation days unused, opting to buckle down and work instead. 

But less vacation means less relaxation, and less relaxation ultimately leads to less productivity, according to other studies. (Video via Expedia)

Obviously, there are factors to balance here. Maybe that's why nobody can relax about when they should relax. 

This video includes images from Getty Images and music from Bensound / CC BY ND 3.0.