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Biotech’s Winter Week Off: A Time to Rest and Recharge

Biotech’s Winter Week Off: A Time to Rest and Recharge

Many biotech companies close between the week of Christmas and New Years, effectively gifting their employees an extra week of vacation time. While some may still have lab responsibilities or projects they need to check in on, this still leaves plenty of extra time to rest and recharge so you can start 2020 off fresh! It may be tempting to try to charge through your to-do list or cram in extra errands and family time, but we encourage you to be mindful about how you spend your extra hours and use them as a way to treat yourself after a long year of hard work! Here are some suggestions to help you make the most of your time off.

Before trying to do anything more productive, take some time to literally put your feet up! Many scientists are on their feet all day in the lab, which can take its toll on your feet, legs, and overall physical comfort. Try the simple yoga pose Legs up the Wall to help reduce swelling, calm the nervous system, and aid in overall relaxation. Of course, putting your feet up on the couch could feel good, too; if you’re looking for some good shows to catch up on, the SciBio team has been enjoying The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Will and Grace, and Derry Girls, as well as some throwback classics like Seinfeld.

Boston, Cambridge, and the surrounding area is a hub of biotech and pharmaceutical companies, which attracts many scientists and professionals to the area. If you are one of the many who relocated to Massachusetts in 2019, the extra days off can be a great way to explore your new home! This list features the 25 Best Places to Visit in Massachusetts while this one is targeted at families: 30 Must-Do Holiday Events & Activities in New England.


Having more time off during the shorter winter days also offers the opportunity to spend more time outside! Being in nature is calming and has far reaching health benefits (How Does Nature Impact Our Wellbeing), but it’s hard to get outside after work when the sun sets at 4:30 pm. You don’t need to be a winter sports enthusiast to enjoy nature this time of year. You could walk around Boston Common, skate at Frog Pond, or check out one of these hiking trails. You can find more suggestions on this list of Best Winter Activities in Boston. If you are into winter sports, then you are in the right spot as Boston is only a few hours from some of the best skiing/riding in the country.

Of course, one of the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “rest and recharge” is sleep! While it may be tempting to sleep in during a vacation week, it is more beneficial long term to keep within the same general sleep and wake times. However, you can take some steps to make that sleep more restful! Consider keeping a notebook by your bed to list lingering projects and things you need to take care of the next day before you go to sleep so that they don’t keep you up at night. Make sure your phone is on airplane mode or Do Not Disturb; although late night and early morning emails are commonplace in our start-up culture, protecting your sleep time is paramount! Also, take some time to do a sleep analysis of your bedroom: check for bothersome noises, annoying street lights that shine in your eyes, or a bed that is too hot or cold. Adding a sound machine, black out curtains, and adding or removing a throw blanket can go a long way towards helping you get a better night’s rest! It may take some experimenting to find the right combination that works for you, but we know you have those skills. Check out some other tips here: 17 Tips to Sleep Better.


Even if you don’t have the whole week off, we hope some of these ideas will help you make the most of the days you do have off. Let us know what you’re planning on doing this winter break!


Top 5 ways vacation can be beneficial

Top 5 ways vacation can be beneficial

So many Americans have a fear of taking time off work for vacation. The importance of work life balance can not be expressed enough now a days. Over the past year four out of 10 Americans didn’t take all of their vacation days. Why? Because they’re not exactly enthusiastic about the work they’ll find on their desk when they return.

Pharmaceutical and Biotech Companies are encouraging their workers to take time off. There needs to be a balance in everyone’s life in order to continue productivity in the workplace.

Vacation days are something many Americans have and should be using.


work life balance

Here are the top 5 ways vacation can be beneficial for you

Better physical and mental health

Vacation can help your physical health — the stress of working can take its toll on the body. One of the main benefits of vacation time is that it can improve your mental health. Feelings of calm arise and relieve the stress, which allow the body and mind to heal in ways that it couldn’t if it were still under pressure.

Increase productivity

You can count on being more productive if you’re taking vacations. Upon returning from vacation, workers are likely to put more emphasis on the work they have to make up. You energy will increase along with your state of mind.

Closer family relationships

One of the biggest benefits of taking vacation is how much it affects your relationship with your family. Family vacations increase family bonding, especially when a lot of the activities have to do with talking about memories or even sharing stressful moments together. Shared family memories and time spent together isolated from ordinary everyday activities (school, work and so on) help to promote these positive ties.

work life balance Newer perspectives

Step away from work for awhile and enjoy the summer sun. When you come back to work, you’ll have a totally new outlook on life. When you take time and you step away from the problems and stresses you’re facing, you’re bound to get a better perspective and come out with a more satisfying answer. Taking some time away will open your mind and increase your focus upon your return.

Lower chance of burn out

If you begin to feel burned out it might be an indicator to take a vacation — especially because the time away will actually keep you from letting blowing out the flame. One key benefit of taking time off work is that you won’t feel all the pressures and discouragement that arise once you begin showing symptoms of a burnout. It’s vital that workers take time to relax. This will decrease their change of burn out and make them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested coworkers.