There’s a snippy article in the Harvard Business Review that begins:
We were recently working with a company in Amsterdam, and having difficulty getting a summer meeting scheduled because of the number of executives who were on vacation. Experiencing some frustration, we began to wonder how this company actually got its work done.
But their VP of HR assured us, “I am confident that because of the rest and break from work that our European executives get more accomplished in their working days than those in the U.S. who burn themselves out.”
Harvard Business Review then says “this seemed worthy of some research” but you have to read it as Challenge Accepted.
After that, it gets a bit muddy. Are you more productive if you have time off? The best way to summarise the findings is in that wonderful Simpsons quote: “Short answer yes with an if; long answer no with a but”.
Read the full piece by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman (HBR 17 June 2015) to see them throw statistics in your face and then try to play it both ways.