Why we need a summer break … Burn On, not Burn Out …

Why we need a summer break … Burn On, not Burn Out …

Summer is just on the horizon and we should all be looking forward to a break in the near future that will re-charge our batteries. Yet a poll undertaken recently by Croner found that only one in three workers take all their holiday entitlement, whilst a survey by Glassdoor found that those aged 16-24 were the least likely to take all their holiday allowance, with only 12% using the full amount – perhaps this is young people wanting to make a good impression in their first job. What is that all about then?

Here are some of the possible reasons:

  • Too many employees wanting time off at the same time, so those who cannot take their preferred dates might not take time off at all.
  • Feeling that they have too much work to do to take time off and questioning whether it’s worth being away from work when the workload builds up whilst you are away.
  • When the pace of business is fast, there might be a culture of not taking holidays and employees feeling concerned about the impact on others, or what colleagues might think if taking holidays impacts on them because of staff shortages.
  • Being so involved in their work they don’t see the need to have time away to re-charge.

As we get to the summer season, there is often the feeling for individuals that they don’t have the time to take a break for a holiday.

The economic climate has left many organisations with employees working longer hours and struggling with work-life balance because of workload and tight deadlines. My thoughts on this are certainly that as an employer, it is my responsibility to make sure those who work in my team are able to take time off and don’t feel guilty about doing so. If I don’t look after their well-being, I cannot expect them to give their best and ultimately the performance of the business will suffer. It’s not just business performance that suffers though – I am mindful that overworking causes relationship problems, having an effect on family and friends.

Not taking holidays might not seem like a big deal, or employees may even feel it can be of benefit to their career, but by working longer hours and not taking a proper break, our creativity and ability to sustain our performance is hindered. Our careers span a number of years and it is so important that we take care of ourselves – as my coach tells me: “You need to burn on, not burn out!” Interestingly though, Glassdoor’s survey also revealed that 44% of employees said that they do some work when they are on holiday – that’s nearly half of us! I certainly support the thinking that being able to work on the move with mobile technology and the internet is in one way an amazing advancement, but it has also driven us to feel we should always be available.

For me it’s important to ensure a good handover and planning before employees go off on leave, meaning they can head off for their break without the worry of what they are leaving behind, and I know that whatever crops up we can deal with it as a team.

Here's how to ensure holidays can be looked forward to and enjoyed:

  • Communicate with staff – make sure they know what the policy and procedure is for annual leave. We have a calendar where leave is recorded so individuals know and can plan around who is going to be away when. Let employees know well in advance if there is a period of time when leave is not allowed.
  • Plan well ahead to arrange any necessary cover and handover.
  • Promote a work-life balance culture so that staff know it’s OK to take leave and that you care about their well-being. Remind staff of the fact that they need to take time off and encourage planning well in advance.

So, did you and your team take all your holidays last year? Do you recognise the importance to the business of making sure everyone has time to recharge? Here at cHRysos HR we help individuals and organisations with a whole range of HR issues. Contact us now to see how we can help you.

Recent Articles

Top Ten Tips for creating a High Performing Team
Learning and Development on a Budget
Employment Law Update - March 2017


Share This Post

Posted In

cHRysos HR Solutions are a UK wide HR training and consultancy company offering CIPD accredited qualifications, Apprenticeships, Training and HR Services to SMEs. For more information about how cHRysos HR can help you or your teams successfully achieve further qualifications, contact us on info@chrysos.org.uk or call 03300 562443.