How to make the most of your annual leave?


Learn how to optimise your annual leave and get the most out of it.

Annual Leave, two words that offer so much! They stand for opportunity, release, the freedom to step away, take stock and re-set. However much passion you have for your job, however much you enjoy your day-to-day playdates with your workmates - annual leave is still one of the best word pairings in most professional’s vocabulary!

The problem is that not enough of us make the most of it, many take it for granted, some even forget to use it all together - sacre bleu! 

In this blog we are going to take a look at why your leave is so important, and figure out how to best deploy this precious asset to get the most out of yourself, both at work and at home. Time to stop wasting your holiday - get reading!

Opportunities lost

It is reported that on average at any one time, approximately half a million Aussies have accrued four weeks or more holiday, yet have no plans in the pipeline to use it. It seems there are a lot of people that are seriously lacking some much needed chill!

Working hard is a great trait to have, however you need to know when to take a break before hard work becomes hard grind. Some are reticent to take leave as they feel guilty, fearing judgement from colleagues, or worse, from their managers. 

It’s up to leaders to create an open environment, structuring workloads in a way that encourages people to take breaks. A study by EY showed that for each additional 10 hours of vacation time taken, they saw an 8% performance increase in the productivity of their staff. Given this, leaders should have no reason to see annual leave as time lost.

That holiday feeling 

Annual leave should not be seen as a perk of the job but a health and safety measure. Health and wellness increases rapidly when you are on vacation, this has been shown to be the case even for those who love their day to day work.

The University of Tampere, Finland, conducted research into the ideal length of a holiday and discovered that the health benefits of holidaying peaked at eight days. After that point some people began to worry about going back to work and struggled to find their holiday as restful. 

It seems that while taking a break and enjoying the benefits of Idle time [LINK BLOG] are very apparent, there is also a point at which this effect begins to wane. At the end of the day we like to be busy, testing ourselves. Holidays that overstay their welcome tend to unnerve us.

Another really cool outcome from researchers in the Netherlands, showed that simply planning holidays is enough to boost your happiness for up to as long as eight weeks at a time! So plan well and you could ride out the majority of your year either on holiday, or riding the holiday planning glow - crafty!

Time for a holiday strategy meeting!

Armed with this knowledge, it’s time to gather your family and friends in the war room, and plan out how best to utilise your vacation days. No longer will you be rushing to make last minute bookings, or banking all your holidays for that one huge trip at the end of the year, forced by the threat of use it or lose it.

We now know that multiple small holidays spread across the year leave us feeling much happier in ourselves and more productive at work! Sure, you might save a little money by pooling resources into one long trip, but at the expense of your health - is it worth it?