The summer holidays – a time when, like many others, people working in construction often disappear for a while (on their holidays or for family visits). But, did you know that, in the UK and for various reasons, more than half of people don’t take their full holiday entitlement?
Some worry that their workload will pile up while they’re away or they may feel guilty about passing on the extra work to colleagues. Others may feel they need to show a constant commitment to work in order to maintain their job security or raise their career prospects.
The problem, however, is that such efforts can be counter-productive as taking a break actually offers all kinds of benefits, both to the individual and the companies they work for. Here are the key points:
Better mental health
However much someone enjoys their job or wants to show their work ethic, everyone needs time to rest and recharge the batteries. Getting away and having a change of scenery is especially good for promoting positive mental health but, even if the break is spent at home, that can also help balance out the stresses of work and avoid burnout. Being encouraged to take annual leave can also help workers feel valued and that they’ve deserved this time off.
Performance, health and safety
The simple fact is that people who take regular holidays/ breaks from work are more motivated and perform more effectively than those who don’t. They are also less likely to have workplace accidents and generally have lower stress levels which, in turn, can reduce sickness absences.
These days, many of us struggle to get a good night’s sleep and often this is linked to stressful or high-pressure working environments. Poor sleeping habits not only impact on employees’ physical and mental health but can also have a major effect on their work performance. Holidays are the perfect opportunity for people to catch up on those zzzz’s and re-energise!
Encourage and energise your team
When someone seems reluctant to take their holiday entitlement, managers should actively encourage them to do so. This can be achieved by:
- Reminding them of the positives of taking a holiday (as outlined above).
- Having clear procedures which make it easy for people to request and get their annual leave approved.
- Making it clear that, providing those procedures are followed, no-one should feel bad about taking their break and that doing so bears no relation to their job security or potential for career advancement.
- Following a ‘time off means time off’ approach, encouraging workers to avoid things like checking their work emails while away.
- Planning ahead, wherever possible, so that anything important in an employee’s workload is re-assigned to others while they’re away.
- Making it a habit to give people a day or two to catch up on their inbox when they return to work before lining up meetings or new projects for them.
Whether it’s a two-week all-inclusive holiday or a few extra days to wind down at home, taking that break from work brings so many benefits which collectively can outweigh the disadvantages for companies like having to deal with staff shortages.
With all of that in mind, now is the time for Sheriff’s blog to take a little break too! So, no more from us for the next two weeks but we’ll be back with you as soon as possible after that.
Enjoy the rest of your summer!
Feature image: Freepik