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We mentioned in our last blog article that businesses still need to be productive during the holiday season, and employees shouldn’t mentally check out just because the radio is currently playing holiday songs. And it’s up to you, the leader, to set a good example for the workplace and to maintain a solid work ethic.

But you still deserve a break, especially if your company plans to close down for the holidays.

However, it appears many people will not give themselves even one day off during the holiday break. According to a survey by Expedia, many working Americans will fail to use at least two vacation days this year.

Yes, there are always demands at work, and sometimes they seem to grow by the day. But it truly is better for the company, and for you, to take a break.

When you don’t take time away from work, you indirectly give off the message that you don’t value vacation time. This can possibly cause your employees to get frustrated and disengaged with the company’s culture.

You should not only take vacation, but also encourage your employees to do the same. Taking vacation really does help to improve everyone’s morale at work. Plus, many times the break allows you to gain a fresh perspective on the vision for the company, and to think of new ways to keep the company moving forward.

On the same note, those days you have off from work shouldn’t be spent answering emails on your phone, it should be about taking the time to recharge and regroup. You should be more concerned about how many marshmallows to put in your hot chocolate, not thinking about next year’s marketing budget.

Allow yourself to take a vacation. Here are some tips to help you out:

Let everyone know.

Your direct reports and boss know about your company’s holiday break, but make sure your clients are aware as well. Be sure to change your voicemail and email to state when the office will be closed.

Set clear expectations.

Make sure people understand the goals they are accountable for achieving either before the team leaves for the holiday break, or what they need to accomplish first thing when everyone returns. Discuss your team’s goals and action plans with your team members to ensure that the plans are feasible. Listen carefully to their objections and make modifications where possible.

Truly unplug.

Avoid the temptation to check your email to see if there is anything that requires your attention. Why? Well, you’ll most likely get dragged into something that could wait. Remember, if anything urgent happens, you’ll get a call immediately. Also, try to stay away from the internet, or just simply limit your computer usage. You look at a computer screen for long periods of time during working hours; your eyes could use a break.

When you take a real holiday from work, your team will follow your lead, which means everyone will be that much more refreshed when the workforce returns to the office.