Article – How Important is Your Holiday

Holiday! Getting The Most From Your Break

Everyone needs a break to refresh and recharge our batteries. However, in today’s economic climate, many workers are not taking a holiday. This can be counter productive, so we explore ways to get away from it all. 

Britain has a long standing culture of long hours, with very few bank holidays to punctuate the working weeks. We work hard but forget to play hard too, which can lead to more stress.

We still lag behind the rest of Europe for annual holidays and working hours. Yet, despite this, as a nation, we have still managed to get away for an annual holiday, usually for two weeks, in a foreign country. For many people it is the highlight of the year and a lot of time and money goes into the planning and preparation of the holiday.

Recent years have seen very different economic conditions with many challenges still ahead. Therefore many people, particularly at Director level or those with significant responsibilities, are choosing instead to work instead of taking their holidays. They are completing extra days to assist with an increased workload.

This has a direct result on morale and health. It is proven that regular breaks improve performance and they are absolutely necessary. A culture is now being created that by using your full annual leave entitlement you are somehow less committed to your job. Employees can be made to feel that they are letting the company down if they use their full holiday allowance. Having a break can be viewed as a sign of weakness in some competitive industries and companies.

Therefore it makes sense to ensure that your holiday is viewed in a positive light. This will have the effect of improving your performance, which should reduce any guilty feelings that you may have. After all, it makes no sense to spend a fortune on a holiday and not enjoy it because you are constantly thinking about the office.

Some tips to get the most from your break……

  • Ensure that your holiday does not take place during any periods crucial to the company’s success
  • Book any leave with the appropriate person, following any policies that may be in place
  • Confirm that your holiday is booked and that you have informed anyone who may be affected
  • Plan your work with your break in mind, do not make any appointments for when you will be away
  • Identify any key projects or issues that potentially could need attention when you are away
  • Find, or request an appropriate person to cover your urgent work load, in your absence
  • Prepare any information, files or key documents that could be needed, make sure they are easy to find
  • Delegate any items that may become due when you are absent, you could try to complete them first
  • Arrange a suitable time so that you can handover your work, allowing for any new work to be added
  • Clearly explain any issues or tasks that you want completed, thoroughly describe the result you want
  • Clearly define your availability and preferred method to contact you. Take into account time differences

……when you get back

  • Thank the person who covered your work, perhaps bring the team a small gift 
  • Arrange a handover, including a full report of all the work you had delegated
  • Ensure you utilise your relaxation time, to improve your productivity
  • Keep reminders of your break where you can see them, to give you a boost