We’ve all been there: you’re super busy at work, your stress levels are mounting, and you’ve still got plenty of annual leave to use up; but despite being entitled to a well earned rest, you’re powering through without a holiday in sight. Model employee? Think again.
Employers love it when you’re hard-working, committed and loyal, but they don’t love it when you’re so tired you can barely keep up with the workload. Holiday dodging is a dangerous business, so we’re here to give you some top tips on managing that much needed break.
According to research* from private healthcare provider Bupa, 42% of the UK workforce will be giving their well-earned holiday a miss this year, because of lingering work pressures and money worries. But with 34% of jolly holidaymakers coping far better with stressful situations after some much needed R&R, the decision to dodge your annual jaunt may not be such a wise one.
Its time to take a break
When you’re struggling to see over the top of your very real and ever-increasing workload, bathing on a beach, skiing through the snow-tipped mountains, or even just relaxing in the comfort of your own home can feel like a distant dream. But devout “presenteeism” can be as detrimental to your performance in the workplace as regular absenteeism.
Holidays help us to regain some of the focus that we can’t help but lose under the everyday pressures of demanding bosses, difficult clients, and having to spread ourselves just that little bit too thinly. And while friends, family and partners have a tendency to drive us a little bit mad on a daily basis, there’s no getting away from the fact that spending quality time with them is what it’s all about.
It’s an inescapable fact that a good work-life balance is essential for not only mental and physical health, but also for your performance at work; and it’s impossible to achieve that balance without a healthy dose of time out from the workplace. But if the problem lies in the pennies, don’t despair. Try making a few small changes to your daily routine — like taking in your own lunches, dodging your daily Starbucks, and cutting down on some of those after work shopping trips — and you’ll be amazed at how much money you can save in a few short months. Or, if you can’t wait that long, why not bag a last minute bargain from one of these reassuringly competitive holiday sites?
But if splashing out on hotels feels like an indulgence too far, you can still get the relaxation you deserve without raiding the piggy bank: taking a week off to spend at home — be it on your own or with your nearest and dearest — can leave you feeling as refreshed as a fortnight in the Seychelles. And we mean a real break — so step away from the emails.
Now the only thing that’s left to tackle is that mounting workload. We’d suggest making a list of everything that you need to finish before your break — ticking them off as you go for a real sense of satisfaction — and leaving anything that isn’t urgent to be tackled after your holiday by the newly refreshed you.
Go on, you know you want to.
*First quoted in HR magazine