How to take guilt free annual leave

By March 9, 2018For Talent

British Airways released the results of their survey about workplace wellbeing this week, for which over 2,000 UK employees took part.

Amongst their findings, they discovered that one-third of people didn’t use all of their annual leave in 2017, losing an average of four days each.

Further analysis showed that 69% of participants didn’t take a two-week holiday, and 16% said they’d feel guilty for using all their holiday allowance.

It’s easy to fall into a trap of avoiding holidays, because you’re “too busy”, or feeling as though work would fall apart in your absence.

How can we shake these feelings and give ourselves the adequately long, well deserved break that we need?

Here’s some suggestions!

Don’t check your work emails outside of the office

Feeling stressed out and overworked? Maybe it’s something to do with the dozens of notifications pinging away on your phone every night, even after leaving the office. This means you’ll never get the opportunity to switch off or forget about the job, you’ll eventually feel trapped. Turn off the alerts! Same goes for when you’re taking time off, make sure they don’t disturb the time you’re making for yourself.

Make a list of everything you’ve achieved

Treat yourself- you’ve earned it! Think back on all the projects you’ve completed, hours worked overtime, targets smashed, co-workers you’ve supported, and more. The office might not be as productive without you, but i’m sure it’ll function temporarily. For the sake of your mental health and your own personal life, breaks are necessary. Plus, once you’ve really recharged, you can come back fresh and eager.

Book annual leave well in advance

Organise your time off schedule at the beginning of each year. Not only does this give you something to look forward to, but it prepares you to work extra hard before heading off. This will alleviate your guilty feelings about ditching your desk. Having an agenda laid out allows you to arrange meetings before and after your break, which might work better than a Skype call on the beach!

Delegate work amongst your team

Need to take unplanned time off during a stressful period? Maybe you could ask your coworkers for assistance. Organise a meeting on one of the days before you leave, asking them to take on extra responsibilities in your absence. Make sure to invite everyone who can help out, and don’t just dump it all on your friends! If you’re struggling to get help, promise to pick up duty free presents at the airport on the way home.

Consult your manager or HR

At the end of the day, if you’ve tried everything and still feel stressed, more serious action might be necessary. Approach your manager and tell them how you feel. Often, delegating tasks amongst coworkers won’t be an option, and consulting managers will be a necessity. HR ensures everybody in the workplace feels adequately supported and will want you to have the best possible holiday.

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Author Jack Maguire

Jack Maguire is a recent English Studies graduate, content writer for the Jobbio blog, freelance journalist and podcast creator.

More posts by Jack Maguire

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