How To Manage Holidays

The summer holidays will soon be upon us! For some, holidays will have been in their calendar for months and it will be something they are really looking forward to but there is a flip side.

How to manage holidaysGary recently wrote a blog regarding the decision by Goldman Sachs to give senior executives unlimited holiday.  Lovely perk, but some people don’t take their allocated days as it is.  Holidays are something they dread. Not because they don’t want to spend time with their loved ones, but the thought of the time they have to spend just preparing to go on holiday – not to mention the workload they come back to post holiday.

Even if planning has been considered, giving briefings and writing notes for colleagues can feel like just another job to add to the list before going on holiday – and it can seem like the least important one, so it often goes by the wayside.

Research has shown that not taking holiday can have an impact on mental health and stress levels. The knock-on effect of that being productivity levels are reduced – it’s not ideal for individuals or organisations.

COVID has meant that because people couldn’t go abroad they tended not to take holiday in fact a study conducted in 2021 from ACAS and YouGov[i] found that 39% of UK workers took less paid time off work during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the year before.  However, with travel corridors now free from restrictions now is the time to prepare for holidays.

According to the Harvard Business Review “Statistically, taking more vacation results in greater success at work as well as lower stress and more happiness at work and home”.  So, how can organisations make it easier for its staff to take holidays and not only take them but be able to completely switch off from work and relax completely? The single most important change that can be introduced is to challenge the perception of holidays and time off as an unimportant part of being a successful productive employee.

And what can individuals do? The general consensus is that planning is the most important thing you can do before you go.  The key to good planning is to start early.  Not a few days but a few weeks.  Let everybody know that you’re going to be going on holiday and establish who is going to do what whilst you’re away.  Finally, don’t forget to prioritise when you return – make sure you have nothing in the diary on the morning of your return so you can sit down, go through everything and plan what needs to be done.

You can measure how time off and holidays are currently perceived within your organisation to better understand how to support and develop your staff – contact us to find out more.