According to a career lifestyle survey carried out by Robert Walters, a huge 40% of professionals do not use their holiday entitlement.

Reasons quoted were –

  • Busy schedule and tight project deadlines
  • Fear of falling behind
  • Company loyalty
  • Guilt at leaving colleagues to take the strain

I personally know colleagues that do not take anywhere near their holiday entitlement and cannot roll all their remaining days over to next year.

Why should you use your holiday entitlement?

1. Your health is worth more than a deadline

Taking a holiday and time out of the office reduces stress. Stress can affect your blood pressure, cause depression as well as heart disease. Your life is more important than a deadline and getting sick will affect that deadline anyway.

2. Unhappy work life

Not spending enough quality time with your partner and family can affect the relationship you have with them. A happy family life is correlated to a happy work life. Take a holiday and build some long term happy memories with your loved ones.

3. A burnt out employee is no good to anyone

Continually working long hours without taking a break can cause you to eventually burn out. Burnout can cause anger, illness, anxiety and depression. A sure way to get a promotion.

4. Lost your mojo

When you come back from taking a break, you are relaxed, recharged and refocussed on hitting those deadlines. You will plough through the back log like hot steel through butter.

5. Lack of innovation

When you work for long periods of time without a break, you become blinded by the details in front of you. A holiday allows you to take a step back and come back with some great ideas on how to move forward quicker and easier.

Escape the office tips

Here are some tips to ensure you can find the time to take a break –

1. Book out your holiday slots in advance

This way you can plan your holiday into project plans and manage people’s expectations on when you will be out of the office.

2. Enrol your deputies

You do not need people to cover your complete job, but find colleagues who can pick up important questions and make urgent decisions while you are away. This will ensure projects will move forward.

3. Don’t be a key man dependency

Spreading your SME knowledge around the office can ensure the office can survive without you for a while.

4. Lead by example

If you are a leader, taking time out will ensure others in your teams do the same.

5 Plan your return

Coming back to the office after a break can itself cause the blues so be prepared by checking out my tips on returning to the office – overcoming those holiday blues.

It’s a wrap

While I was writing this, I remembered an end of year speech by a CEO.

The CEO had a fierce reputation and was referred to in the press as Mack the knife.

But the man in front of me said something great that I will always remember. He said thanks for all our hard work this year and to take a relaxing break with our families.

He then said he had learnt that in this business, you will busy now and you will be busy when you come back, so take some rest and enjoy some time with your family as the work will still be here when you come back.

What tips do you have for others on how to find time to take a break? You can leave a comment below.

Your virtual coach and mentor

Categories: ProductivityWellness