Although the statutory annual leave allowance for a full-time role is 28 days, only half of UK employees are taking all their leave. And even when on leave, 44% of employees said that they have worked while away from the office and one in five said that they had been contacted by a colleague.
According to the Glassdoor Annual Leave Survey, employees feared that unless they worked while on leave, they would get behind or the job wouldn’t get done. In addition, other employees felt that it was required for a pay rise.
While doing extra hours and blurring the lines between work and personal time can be seen as a short-term solution and a quick win, it can also have serious consequences. The 2017 Modern Families Index indicates that 50% of working families agreed that their work/life balance is increasingly a source of stress, which in-turn has a significant impact. The study suggests that the more the balance tips unfavourably, the more likely working families are to absent themselves from the workplace through taking sick leave, cutting back hours and even resigning altogether.
So how can holidays help? Whilst as an employer it’s tempting to view holidays as a time when work stops, it can actually have the opposite effect. Holidays are a time when employees are able to relax and distance themselves from the workplace. They’re able to recharge batteries and return to work with more energy and a clear focus on the goals ahead. They’re also able to manage other commitments too, such as childcare or caring for an elderly loved one, which might otherwise have impacted work.
Holidays offer valuable restorative effects and it’s clear to see for both employees and employers. Is it time to switch on your out of office?