You would think that taking a summer holiday is a no-brainer. And yet, statistics show that last year, 74 per cent of Australian employees didn’t use all their annual leave.
It’s easy to see how this might happen. When you are in a good routine at work it can be daunting to take time off. You might worry about who will manage your work load while you are away, or if there is no one to manage your workload, worry about returning to a huge backlog.
It’s also common for employees to feel guilty about taking time off – especially when working in a team environment.
But, while you may be reluctant to take a proper break, having a summer holiday is actually a really good career move. Here’s why:
You’ll be more productive in the long run
Research shows that employees become less productive over time. It’s just not sustainable to keep working at the same intensity. Giving yourself a proper holiday, away from the office will re-set your productivity so that when you get back to work you will be firing on all cylinders.
Work life balance really does matter
These days employers are recognising the value of their staff having a life outside of work. People who spend good quality time with their friends and family are likely to be happy at work. And happy employees mean a better work environment.
Of course, having a good work life balance doesn’t just mean taking annual leave – it also means getting out the door at a decent time and not checking your email late at night. But having a proper holiday can help you reassess any unhealthy work habits you have got into.
As we approach the end of the year it’s normal to feel tired and over it. It’s a hectic time of year with deadlines looming and extra demands on your social life. Having a holiday to look forward to can help you keep going when your motivation starts to wane. Just picture yourself on the beach, take a deep breath and power through that ‘to do’ list.
Taking a break is good for your health
We’ve all heard the one about all work and no play… but it doesn’t just make us dull – it makes us unhealthy too.
Long periods of stress can have a negative effect on your health – high blood pressure, heart disease and depression are all exacerbated by stress. Taking time off to fully unwind will help you stay healthy.
You need time to reflect and plan ahead
If you’ve been thinking about a career change then taking a proper break from work is a great way to take stock. It’s very difficult to weigh up your goals while you are in the thick of day-to-day responsibilities. Away from the office you have space to reflect and plan ahead. Which means that when you are back from vacation you’re ready to put your new job-hunting action plan into place.