Why taking a holiday is good for your health

Have you skipped out on vacation plans this year? If you have, you are not alone.

Although annual leave is a legal entitlement and not an optional extra, a recent Glassdoor report stated that 40% of UK employees took a maximum of just half their annual leave entitlement during the last holiday year, with the average employee taking just 62% of their allowance.

Why people don’t use their holiday allowance

Have you ever heard a colleague say they are ‘too busy to take a break’? We thought so. These are the main reasons employees refrain from using their holiday days.

Guilt - some feel guilty giving extra work to their colleagues.

Fear of getting behind –  some worry that their work won’t actually be covered while they’re away, even though it’s been handed over to someone. Coming back to a pile of work isn’t worth the time away.

Fear of losing their job – some worry their manager will see them as replaceable (or that their role with the company is no longer needed) if they’re away for a longer period of time. Heavier workloads, tighter deadlines and threatened job security all adds to the pressure to perform to the highest standard, at all times.

Fear of losing out on a promotion - employees may feel they need to constantly show extra commitment by being at work all the time. They worry taking time off might affect an upcoming promotion or their career prospects.

You can get into a loop of thinking everything will fall apart without you.

Julia Knight, Organisational Psychologist

Benefits of taking a holiday

By not taking time off you are at risk of feeling overwhelmed by work and that your work/life balance is out of tune. Not only is time off important for your health and wellbeing; taking a break can also increase productivity, motivation and job performance.

Studies show that having a good work/life balance and taking time off work to rest and recharge improves both your physical and mental health. It enables you to focus on other areas of your life that makes you happy, such as spending quality time with friends and family, which improves your general wellbeing.

Being on holiday often means getting sufficient sleep, something that will prevent work-related stress and burnout.

A change of scenery gives you new perspectives that can be integrated into your life back home and hopefully make you feel inspired once you are back to work.

Last but not least; the planning alone boosts happiness.

How to achieve a work-free holiday

  • Submit your holiday request as early in advance as possible. Once approved, inform your team and make it clear that you will be unreachable.

  • Prepare a handover in advance to give colleagues the chance to ask questions before you leave. Ensure your back-up person is set up for success. The better prepared your back-up is, the easier it will be for you to relax while away.

  • Prepare a helpful out-of-office reply where you (apart from specifying that you won’t have access to your emails) include contact details of who they can contact in your absence.

  • Turn your work phone / email notifications off.

Now, time away from your usual routine doesn’t need not be an expensive overseas break. A staycation (where people remain within their home country) is becoming increasingly popular and can provide the same health benefits as a trip to Thailand, Miami or Australia. The important thing is that you disconnect from your everyday life.

Did you know temporary retail staff accrue paid holiday with us? Click here to register your CV if you are interested in working flexible hours, getting paid weekly and working with some of the biggest brands in fashion.