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Are you planning to get away this summer?


Aldermore Bank’s quarterly insights briefing, which analyses the views of the owners of over 1000 small and medium sized businesses shows that more than one in five people running SMEs (21%) took no time off whatsoever last year, with sole traders being the worst offenders where three out of ten (30%) took no time off work at all. Almost a third of SME owners (31%) took only one to five days’ holiday over the 12 month period.

Of those who do go on holiday, the majority (85%) take work-related phone calls and answer emails while they are away from the workplace. A quarter (24%) tackle work matters all the time, while three out of ten (29%) make time once a day to do so. Only 15% treat a holiday as a time for total relaxation and opportunity to set aside the pressures of running a small business.

And a survey from Glassdoor also found the average UK employee only uses three quarters (77%) of their annual leave. This was particularly true for young people in the workplace. Those aged 16-24 were least likely to take all of their holiday allowance, with only 12% using the full amount.

So why aren't people enjoying the privilege of paid holidays? Stevan Rolls, head of human resources at Deloitte UK, was quoted in a Guardian report as saying: "I think it's mostly just a habit people get into and find hard to stop. I can't think of any organisations that would encourage people to do this, but it can easily emerge in the culture between team members when the pace of business is so fast."

If you’ve recently started a new job, or are trying hard to make a good impression, it’s a temptation to forgo your annual leave out of fear of it reflecting badly on you, or causing you to fall behind with work. You may feel like it’s actually benefiting your career at the time, however it can in fact be damaging to your productivity if you don’t give yourself a break.

The lists a few reasons why taking a holiday can be beneficial.

1. Taking breaks improves productivity

Research has found that when working longer hours, employees aren’t as creative and find it hard to maintain the same intensity level in their work. So by working yourself too hard, it could actually be detrimental to the quality of your work.

2.You’ll be healthier

If you don’t take the time off to relax and unwind, you are putting yourself at risk of becoming stressed. Stress can have negative implications for your health, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and depression. So it’s important to look after yourself, as well as your workload!

3. Quality time with loved ones

Chances are that if you’re working long hours, you don’t get to spend as much time with your loved ones as you’d like to. By taking some annual leave from work, you can set that time aside to spend quality time with them, whether it be at home or on a trip together. Spending time with your friends and family may be just what you need to unwind and improve your mood after a stressful period at work.

4. New experiences

There is so much to do and see in the world, which just isn’t going to happen from the confines of your office. Take a break and experience new things, or you may regret it later.

If you’ve been meaning to take up a new hobby, this could be your chance to give it a go and you never know, it may even open doors to new opportunities in the future. So step away from the computer and go enjoy yourself!

5. Work-Life balance is important

If a good work-life balance is not met in your job, it’s likely that you will start to build negative feelings towards work or your employer, and it could also take it’s toll on your health. In order to be happy at work and maintain the drive to work at the best of your ability, it’s important for you to be able to balance work and your personal life, so that you are not deprived of doing things you enjoy outside of work and are living a healthy lifestyle.


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