It’s the peak of the vacation season. And while many employees are taking time off their jobs to rest, relax and recharge, that time away is adding value to their employer’s business.

According to the Austin (Texas) Business Journal, one dollar’s investment in employer-sponsored vacation benefits yields a $3 return in improved productivity and morale.

And, in his book “Go Away: Just for the Health of It,” Dr. Mel Byrns says that for every dollar that companies get back in vacation time not taken, they lose as much as $7 in costs related to employee burnout. More than 30 percent of American workers don’t take all of their vacation days, leaving 460 million days unused in 2009, according to a recent study sponsored by the travel website Expedia.

Other studies have identified specific areas where vacation time off benefits both employer and employee, as well as society in general.

Employee productivity. Time away from the job can increase an employee’s output when he or she returns. Comparisons of U.S. worker productivity to that of workers in many European countries, where employees frequently take twice as much vacation time, support this conclusion. European productivity surpassed the rate of U.S. productivity for 14 of the 19 years between 1981 and 2000.

Health benefits. Time away from work allows the body to repair and replenish itself. According to a University of Pittsburgh study, employees who participated in leisure activities, including vacation, suffered from depression less than those who didn’t. Other benefits included lower blood pressure and healthier weight levels.

Creativity and innovation benefits. According to Dr. Robert Kriegel, author of “How to Succeed in Business Without Working So Damn Hard,” workers get some of their most creative ideas where they’re away from the workplace and its demands. “Vacation should be really defined as a time when we can really turn off those tech work savers and just relax and have fun,” says Robert R. Butterworth, a Los Angeles psychologist with International Trauma Associates, quoted on “If you have a job that’s very creative and you don’t take time off you hit a wall and you need a change. The break will allow you to refresh your brain cells,”

Economic benefits. Many areas of the United States get an economic boost from tourism and the vacation dollars that visitors spend. The travel and tourism industry generated $1.8 billion in economic impact and provided Americans with almost 14 million jobs in 2010, according to the U.S. Travel Association. When Americans don’t go on vacation, it hurts businesses of all kinds. And when refreshed, reinvigorated employees return home feeling better about themselves and their lives, that can lead to more consumer confidence.

Direct Pay Payroll Services can help employers track vacation time taken by employees and ensure that payrolls reflect paid time off. Call us today to find out how we can help your business with its payroll needs.