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There are many reasons to why someone may need to have time off from work. This may include sick leave, taking time off work to care for a sick relative, or maternity leave.
Nowadays, more employers are realising the benefits of taking time off from work and how taking a break from work may in fact improve the productivity of their employees.
“Though some may consider “doing nothing” unproductive, a lack of downtime is bad for our well-being, because idle time allows our default network to make sense of what we’ve recently experienced or learned.” – Leonard Mlodinow in his book Elastic about taking time off from work.
Recent studies have shown that 43% of employees in the UK would take a sabbatical to improve their mental health, while 32% would go on sabbatical to improve their physical health. You can find more information on managing mental health in the workplace on our website. Taking career breaks is becoming increasingly popular while studies have suggested that 75% of UK-based respondents to not think they have a generous holiday allowance, but why is time off from work so important?
Having time off work allows employees to focus on their life outside of work. Knowing how much annual leave you are entitled to will enable you to plan breaks and organise your time away from work. Taking time off from work will also give the employee space to re-energise and enjoy time away from their working environment. Having a break could also improve the respect for management amongst staff, if they feel they are encouraged to use up their holiday or annual leave allowance.
Taking time off from work will enable employees to focus their attention on other things such as their family, friends, a hobby or even just to simply chill out on the sofa and do nothing. Either way, having some time away from being in ‘work-mode’ enables employees to return to work refreshed with mental clarity. At school, teachers will tell you to have a break so you can gain mental clarity after writing an essay before proof-reading it - the same rule applies with work.
Even if you are living out your dream job, working 5 days a week in the same role can become repetitive and tiring. Having a break has not only been said to improve productivity in the workplace but studies also suggest that employees who use up all their paid vacation days have a 6.5 percent better chance of getting promoted!
Encouraging employees to take some time off will help to keep a healthy work/life balance and avoid work related stress and burnouts. Taking time off from work will enable you to not only be more productive and focused at work, but also spend more time with loved ones and increase happiness.
Research has showed that spending time with loved ones is important in keeping employees happy. It has also been suggested that people who enjoy a lot of social support are better able to deal with mental and physical challenges. This will, in turn, help to increase productivity when the employee returns back to the workplace.
You can calculate your time off from work entitlement here – you deserve it!
Recently, it has become popular for companies to offer their employees unlimited holiday days. Large companies such as LinkedIn, Hubspot and Netflix, who were named one of the world’s best employers by Forbes in 2019, have jumped on the unlimited holiday bandwagon.
This sounds like the ideal situation for employees. Which poses the question; why did Software firm CharlieHR recently scrap their unlimited days policy? The company was founded in 2015 and from the get go, every employee no matter what role, received unlimited, fully-paid holiday days. After three years, they felt the need to address the stresses and strains form this policy.
It is tempting to think that the maybe all of the CharlieHR employees jetted off to Hawaii for 6 months, but the cons of unlimited holiday are in fact the opposite.
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