Prospectus: R&R is pivotal to getting your ROI

Mike Curran vacation
OBJ publisher Michael Curran (left), pictured on his own recent vacation. Looking out into the Atlantic Ocean at Inishbofin, a sparsely populated island on the west coast of Ireland.

In each issue of the OBJ newsmagazine, publisher Michael Curran shares his prospectus for the Ottawa business community. Read the August edition of the newsmagazine here.

Ever run a long-distance race, played a round of golf in the scorching sun or maybe endured a two-hour tennis match?

If you have, after completing the aforementioned strenuous activity, you likely prioritized recovery. In other words, you took time to rest and replenish yourself.

What about exertion in the work world? Sixty-hour work weeks, monitoring emails 24/7 or exhausting business travel all take their toll on our minds and bodies.

But are you applying the same common-sense approach and prioritizing recovery when it comes to your work life?

It’s August, and OBJ has vacation on its mind as we complete this newsmagazine issue and prepare for a one-week closure.

It’s our sincere hope that you, our valued readers, are also unplugging for a little rest and relaxation, too.

However, there seems to be a preponderance of evidence (most of it from the U.S.) that CEOs and business executives are taking less vacation time than they used to. 

One particular study, published by Harvard Business Review, found that in 2000, American executives were taking, on average, 20.3 days of vacation a year. Fast forward 15 years and the number of vacation days fell to 16.2. That’s not an insignificant drop.

This dip in R&R coincided with the advent of smartphones and always-on social media, which has nearly erased the concept of a typical work day.

And what happens when these overworked executives do manage to take vacation? If you guessed that they continued to work, you get a gold star.

One smaller survey carefully tracked time usage of CEOs and reported that, while on vacation, the executives worked 2.5 hours per day.

If you’re buying the “vacation is good” argument, what’s the best way to achieve good ROI for time away from work?

Here are some pro tips from the experts:

Plan your vacation at least one month in advance. You don’t want to get more stressed when planning to de-stress.

Go far from home. Physical distance seems to create mental detachment.

Do something physical. Bike, swim, paddle or simply explore new places on foot. Related, pick a location where you feel safe, happy and alive.

Of interest, a German study also had something to say about what not to do on vacation. Avoid Internet browsing, social media and TV. In other words, lying on your couch is not an ideal vacation.

Still not convinced?

OK, one last study. This one concluded that people who took more than 10 vacation days per year are twice as likely to get a raise or bonus at work. “Statistically, taking more vacation results in greater success at work as well as lower stress and more happiness at work and home,” it reported.

The undeniable conclusion? Time away is also time well spent for your company and career.

The future of Ottawa's mid-size malls

In this month's edition, we take a closer look at how smaller retailers in the capital are coping with the rise of e-commerce and changing consumer shopping habits.

David Sali talks to merchants in some of Ottawa's mid-sized malls to see how they're coping with declining foot traffic, and he also finds out how e-commerce giant Shopify is helping mainstreet businesses boost their brick-and-mortar sales.

In addition, we spotlight the small but growing movement among Ottawa property owners to convert aging Class-C commercial properties into rental apartments and tell you why this trend is happening.

And in this month's Techopia feature, Craig Lord talks to CBRE's Shawn Hamilton about how a shortage of downtown office space could be holding the city's tech sector back.

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