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Why taking annual leave is important

Why taking annual leave is important


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13/07/2021

Taking a break can help on an individual and organisational level. By taking annual leave, workers can reduce stress and increase happiness, which leads to increased productivity, reduced staff turnover and reduced absences due to sick leave. On an individual level, annual leave may help by reducing stress, which in turn lowers the risk of anxiety and depression and may help to ease social relationships, boosting health and reducing burn out.  For employers, workers taking annual leave may help by improving morale and therefore increasing employee retention. It increases productivity by having a well-rested and motivated staff.

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REDUCED STRESS


The workplace and the pressures of work can impact greatly on our stress levels.  Workplace stress can lead to high anxiety, headaches, high blood pressure, depression, and increased drinking.  You do not need to take a long block of leave at one time, having half days or a few days at time that turn regular weekends into extended ones are just as beneficial. 

EXTENDED LIFE


People may underestimate the value of taking holidays and the demands of work can make it difficult for us to take leave. Taking annual leave regularly helps towards reducing stress and therefore living longer.  Giving your body a rest can help you to restore yourself physically and mentally to a healthier place and taking a break from your work schedule is an important aspect of living healthy. 

IMPROVED MOOD


On an organisational level it can improve morale and result in happier staff and the risks to mental health are managed.  Reduced stress in turn lowers the risk of anxiety and depression and an improved mood helps to ease social relationships and boost immunity. 

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BETTER SOCIAL LIFE


We will have happier relationships out of the workplace with our partners, families, and friends.  We are all keen to have a work-life balance but sometimes it can be difficult to achieve a healthy balance.  A good work-life balance means you have harmony between all the different aspects of your life.  The benefits gained from each area are able to support and strengthen the others.  Taking annual leave and holidays contributes to this healthy work-life balance. 

 

HEALTH BENEFITS


Workaholics are at an increased risk of developing heart disease and other chronic illnesses.  Taking a day off may not seem like a priority, particularly whilst we are in a global pandemic, with continual restrictions and lockdowns but we still need to take a break and detach and even more so if you are still predominantly working from home and juggling with home schooling.  Time away from work whether that be office or home based, is still essential for us to sustain our performance and productivity and inevitably avoid a burnout.

 

GREATER PRODUCTIVITY AT WORK


Taking breaks will inevitably improve our mood, extend our lives, and reduce our risk of heart disease.  Workers who take regular breaks and work favourable hours will work more productively and take much fewer sick days. Having staff who are well rested and motivated will increase productivity and increase employee retention.

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Taking annual leave gives your body and mind a chance to recover and recharge from the demands of work.  No matter how busy you are, you need to avoid the excuses and take a break.  It is important to take time out.  The impact of COVID on both national and international travel has impacted on how we would normally take a holiday, but you can still have break at home and explore other activities that can help you to practice mindfulness and lower stress levels. 

 

WRITTEN BY
MARTINE GREENOUGH


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