Its 4 weeks until Xmas and things are starting to spin out of control, families calling to organise Xmas lunch, yet you can’t even manage tomorrow’s dinner? If you are anything like me it’s this time of year that things often start spinning out of control both at home with the number of Christmas Carol functions and school prizegiving’s to coordinate and then at work with clients suddenly springing unrealistic deadlines on you. It’s this time of year that often you wish you had taken regular leave breaks to ensure your tank is full to cope with the demands of the festive season.

When you consider the growing list of work that must be completed in your office, annual leave can often be far from a relaxing thought. However, with all work and no play, the capacity for innovative thinking and effective problem solving can rapidly take a dive. Annual leave is an important part of being on top of your game – it operates as a health and safety measure to ensure employees do not burn out and can have a rest both mentally and physically. Taking leave throughout the year allows staff to feel rejuvenated on their return, in fact, studies by Expedia show that people who take their annual leave become more productive and happier. So, holidays offer many benefits for your employees, as well as your business. Evidence shows you become less productive without proper breaks throughout the day but also proper annual leave breaks throughout the year. You are not as creative, and you cannot maintain the same intensity level.

The key is planning and communication to the business on what leave you are going to take. This will ensure the business has coverage for that period and will allow you to have a holiday and switch off. The importance of taking annual leave is often overlooked and underplayed in the workplace. This can result in employees feeling guilty for requesting time off, or fearing the business will struggle without them. When you consider the pace at which most of us move every day, attaining work-life balance should be a priority. So, make sure you do your part and encourage your staff to take their holiday days this year!