Working Transitions

Game, set and match for employee holidays

Andy Murray will prioritise rest and recovery before Wimbledon following a gruelling clay-court season that ended in defeat in the French Open final. It’s an important decision for Murray. He has realised that ploughing on will not win him the trophies he craves and may actually work against him if he is to have a successful season.

It’s the same in business. Regular holidays and taking a break are a must. Socially (and indeed legally) it is becoming more accepted than ever that people need to take a holiday. Rather than admire the trooper in the corner who claims to have never had a break since 1998, many question whether this is actually good for them or the organisation.

In fact taking a break could boost your efficiency at work, and find you enjoying working life more:

1. Beige walls do not inspire

Most of us need some kind of inspiration to improve or continuing to do our jobs well. A repetitive and sometimes bland office environment is not a dynamic place to produce new concepts and methods, or to find the solutions to problems. Not only this, but the daily grind of office life can sometimes suppress any creativity. Yet when you take a break and relax, creativity can often be enhanced. You will think about things in a different way and you will have more time to do this, as you will be uninhibited by the daily activities and frustrations of the job.

2. Different routines

Without realising it, our work lives are sometimes like a treadmill. We perfect daily routines and rituals. Talking a break makes us step away from those. When going away you will need to make certain your workload is in a position to be left, that contingencies are in place and that work is delegated. This can sometimes highlight opportunities for better ways of working and also help you get on top of thingsby removing the what is unnecessary from your role.

3. Health boost

Holidays have been scientifically proven to improve your health. Reduced stress and improved sleep are all benefits of taking a holiday, making you feel refreshed. A break also relaxes you emotionally. All of this leads to an improvement in your physical and mental wellbeing. Spending time with family, taking part in hobbies and doing whatever it is you enjoy, refreshes the mind and body.

4. Network

Going on holiday is an opportunity to meet new people. Whilst you shouldn’t go with your business cards and expect to strike business deals, it’s always good getting to know new people. You never know who you might meet and when you could call on them again. Networking is all about building relationships and this can often be done in environments away from work.

5. Prove your worth

It is highly likely that the office won’t fall apart whilst you are sunning yourself for 2 weeks. But this doesn’t mean you are not valued, to the contrary. It showcases your organisational and planning skills, and if you are in a supervisory or leadership capacity it shows that the team are unified and delivering.

6. Career assessment

Often we spend so long at work we never question or think about our careers. Holidays are an opportune time for us to reassess our careers. Whether that be thinking about whether you are in the right industry or job, a break can make you focus on everything that is important and realign your career goals.

As our lives become busier, taking a break is actually likely to increase your productivity in the long run. However, one recent survey shows that many people were still contemplating skipping their annual holiday or taking work away with them. As attractive as this may seem on the face of it, the reality is that not only do you miss out on the benefits of a break, but it can also work against you.

A break or holiday is incredibly important for your career development and personal happiness. If top class sports people like Andy Murray, with all the research and money behind them know this, then perhaps the rest of us should sit up and take note.


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Working Transitions
07 June 2016
Supporting effective and successful organisational change


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