A lot of UK employees aren’t taking all their annual leave. In fact, according to Consultancy.uk, “UK workers waste on average five days of annual leave each year.” Many people are leaving a week or more of time-off in the bank because they feel like taking the time isn’t worth it. Coming back to an overflowing inbox isn’t exactly appealing. Others worry that taking their maximum annual leave will make them look bad to the higher-ups. But taking annual leave is good for employees and can be good for their job performance, too. Annual leave can:
- Lower stress levels
- Improve personal relationships
- Make work time more productive
- Inspire innovation and creativity on the job
- Boost morale in and out of the office
Employers should encourage their team members to take their annual leave and make the most of their time off. By carefully planning days off, employees can maximise annual leave and get the most time off possible this year. Here are three tips to help make it happen and why it’s good for everyone involved.
String Bank Holidays Together
There are many bank holidays that line up nicely around Easter and Christmas. By scheduling annual leave around those bank holidays, workers can get a much longer stretch of time off. In fact, in 2019 they can take nine days of annual leave starting Friday 19 April and end up with an incredible three weeks off in total. That’s thanks in part to holidays like Good Friday and the early May Bank Holiday Monday.
- Why It’s Good for Workers: Getting the most time off allows team members to come back refreshed and relaxed, ready to tackle tough problems that may have stymied them before they left. Additionally, longer periods of time off can help workers achieve off-work goals they’ve wanted to accomplish.
- Why It’s Good for Management: Team members are much more likely to stay at a job if they are feeling a good work/life balance. Longer periods of time off give them a chance to really disconnect from work and recharge their batteries.
Don’t Shy Away From More Frequent, Shorter Breaks
Don’t ignore the other Bank Holidays on the calendar, though. Book-ending time off around a Bank Holiday Monday allows for a long weekend for a city break. While these may not be the optimised three-week stretch, more frequent shorter breaks from the office can have the same positive effect.
- Why It’s Good for Workers: Shorter breaks mean there is less risk of feeling overwhelmed upon a return to the office. Additionally, it can be a more affordable option. Deals on flights and hotels are more readily available on these off-peak long weekend trips.
- Why It’s Good for Management: Team members can get the same advantages of unplugging from the office without management scrambling for coverage over a weeks-long absence.
Submit Annual Leave Requests As Soon As Possible
Submit annual leave requests to the company’s HR department sooner rather than later. Dates around bank holidays are likely to go quickly. Avoid these disappointing situations by creating a clear policy on time off. Create a “first come, first served” policy on annual time requests. Ask that time off requests come at least a few weeks in advance when possible. The end of the year is often the busiest time for annual leave requests, so submitting them before the fourth quarter can help management create a plan to cover any shortages.
- Why It’s Good for Workers: When annual leave is on the horizon, it’s a lot easier to focus on tasks instead of wondering when you’ll get a break. It’s a boost to morale and can help create a more positive work culture.
- Why It’s Good for Management: It’s a lot easier to plan when you know in advance when key team members are going to be out of the office. This can help prevent projects from coming to a halt or a lack of proper coverage in the office.
Are you creating a culture that encourages annual leave? It can be good for workers energy levels. You can leave the rest of your energy concerns to us. For more guides to a healthy business and energy saving advice, you can visit our website.