Date Posted: 09/06/2018
Always dreaming of taking a much needed holiday from work, perhaps want to spend some extra time with your family, your kids or a group of mates? Sick of scrolling through your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter feed and seeing all these amazing photos from others on holidays? Perhaps there some of your fellow co-workers relaxing on a nice beach in Hawaii, basking in the sunshine with a cocktail in hand while your left sitting at your mundane day to day desk job, asking yourself why don’t I ever get a holiday?
In a recent study conducted by the Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) unveiled that a whopping 32% of Australians are too busy with their occupation to take a much needed holiday and time to enjoy some rest and relaxation. Just under two million full time employees are forming this unhealthy trend, mentioning that they haven’t been on holidays or taken annual leave in the last twelve months. The study also showed that over a half a million Australian workers won’t take annual leave due to the stress of returning to work, or what will happen while they are away from work.
The managing director for IHG in Australia, Leanne Harwood said “It’s time Australians put themselves first and take a much needed break. It’s great to see people focusing on their careers, but to reach their full potential, it’s important to take the time to relax and recharge”.
We all know how much we just settle into our usual day to day routine, and as much as we hate to admit it we enjoy having a routine, as it becomes the ‘usual’ with everything else in life based around your working life. A full time employee working 35 hour work week, will approximately work 1,820 hours per year. Receiving 4 weeks annual leave per year that’s only 140 hours each year.
Research shows that we need to break this routine and get out of that ‘automatic’ mode, our minds and bodies need proper breaks from the workplace regularly. It gives our body a chance to recover and recharge. There are many proven benefits to taking your annual leave, a few reasons are outlined below.
The following data, comes from Expedia’s 2016 Vacation Deprivation study.
- Reduced Stress
Workplaces can place enormous pressure onto its employees, and you don’t even need to be in a high corporate position to have pressure forced onto you. Don’t get me wrong pressure can be good, there’s no doubt that having this added pressure gives us the determination to push ourselves that little bit further and to achieve those things that we didn’t think we could achieve. Having excessive pressure forced onto you can result in employees having headaches, higher anxiety levels, high blood pressure, depression, increased substance abuse (drinking or smoking) and an overall reduced work ethic resulting in low productivity. After taking some time off from work, 92% of those surveyed said that they felt less stressed once they returned back to work after taking a break.
- Improved Mood
Having returned from an amazing holiday or simply just returning after having some spare time to get things done is rewarding – even if we don’t like to admit it. Personally I’ve always found that after returning back to work you are always on a high note, your keen to show your colleagues that amazing new place your discovered while you were away or maybe you just want to show them those corny holiday photos and selfies that you took. Something as simple as that can boost the overall work environment and can spread happiness throughout the whole team. 93% of those people surveyed said that they felt happier and had a better mood once they had a break from work.
- Better Health
Taking time off often leads to employees having to take less sick leave, as you are giving your body a rest, a stressed out immune system won’t be able to fight off that nasty flu that’s going around. In 2000, a study published in Psychosomatic Medicine revealed that there is a reduced risk of premature death among middle-aged men, with a 67% increase in heart disease if you work more than eleven hours per week, when compared to those who worked around seven to eight hours each day.
“No matter how important your career might be, there will always be the need to unwind” said Ms. Harwood.
So next time your considering sending that email to request some leave for later in the year, just remember that everyone needs some holiday time, so don’t feel bad about putting a higher workload onto you fellow co-workers so you can have some time off.
So go on… book that holiday!
Every employer in Australia is required to give all its full time employees a minimum of four weeks annual leave per year, unfortunately this doesn’t apply to casual employees. Please be aware that all positions and employers have different agreements and this can vary from employer to employer.
“Importantly, its four weeks for you to be anywhere but work” – qSuper.