When we are posed with this question, most of us say ‘yes’ without hesitation. Who doesn’t enjoy a holiday? There was a time when people worked without paid leave, without days off, and without the expectation of retirement. Thankfully, unionisation has ensured that for the majority of people working in professional roles and in countries that respect international human rights norms, this is no longer the case.

Planning a holiday or taking time off from work is now considered important for your mental health, as well as your productivity. When you take a vacation, you relax. If you are really committed to taking a holiday, you forget work, unplug from your routine and allow yourself the space to read that book, finish that jigsaw puzzle or binge watch that TV series. You also allow time to connect with loved ones, be that by visiting relatives, spending time with your partner or playing with your dogs. And if you choose to travel, you are exposing yourself to new places, sometimes even new languages, culture and food.

All of these things are important to your overall productivity. When you relax, you destress. You will likely sleep better, feel refreshed and more able to cope, making you a better coworker and more focused team player. You will feel that you have more to give because you aren’t running on fumes. When you spend time with loved ones you improve your emotional wellbeing and sense of connectedness. This makes you a nicer person to be around. You are also less likely to feel distracted and pulled apart by the demands of your work and family of you can balance the two. And if you travel you are exposing yourself to new things, which leads to a more creative approach. When we travel we tap into parts of our brain that otherwise are little used. We are challenged in ways that force us to be creative in decision making, communicating and even navigating. This creativity can flow into our work, helping us to solve problems or think about things in new ways.

So how do you know if you need to take a holiday? Follow our infographic for the answer.