Around half of UK employees never take their full entitlement of annual leave, but guess what?
Those who do not take all their leave are not always the best workers, with studies showing that those who avoid leaving the office are more likely to reduce their work performance level and generally work at a slower pace. Even when we do get away, how do we make sure we really recharge? Follow our tips to find out.
1. Planning a holiday alleviates stress
First things first: having a holiday to look forward to boosts your mood and, perhaps surprisingly, your productivity. Rather than just throwing the paperwork in the air and fleeing, you need to prepare.
Tell all your clients, colleagues and bosses well in advance when you are going and when you will be back. Encourage them to give you their tasks in good time to enable them to be completed by you if they want them done well. Ensure you give your remaining tasks and potential tasks away, and don’t give anyone a reason to need to call you while you are away.
2. Don’t worry – be happy
If your last holiday went south because your boss called you every evening, make it clear that this won’t happen again. Do all your prep and block their number. You are legally entitled to be away from work – if you stay in contact, you will have wasted your time off.
3. Take an internet break
When you get to the hotel and log on to the free Wi-Fi, it can be too much of a routine not to check your work emails – don’t do it! Quickly responding to a couple of emails can seem innocuous; however, once you have opened communications, people will only be more annoyed when you stop replying. Responding to emails also puts you straight back in the office mindset.
4. Delegate your post-holiday workload
Coming back into the office and having delegated work handed back to you can be overwhelming. Make it clear that anyone who has answered an email chain on your behalf should finish it – unless, of course, it is your regular client. Often a hand-off takes more time to explain than the work needed to complete it.
5. Nobody loves a swot
It has become entrenched in office culture that she/he who works hardest works best; however, we all know a workaholic who has no life, and no one likes them. They may get small promotions but soon level off. Take your holiday and be proud of the quality of work you produce – it will help you more than chaining yourself to your desk.
In the end, our working culture is moving more and more towards a better work-life balance. Those who take their annual leave and support others taking theirs tend to be seen in a more favourable light.
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