Increase Work Productivity by Going on Holiday
By Patricia Goh
It is of underrated importance for workplace employees to take time off from work and break out of their 9 – 5 routine for better productivity. Understandably, with bills to pay, clients to meet, deals to close, who has the time to lie on a Caribbean beach sipping margaritas all day long? Paid holidays are common in the working world. However, 75% of Americans don’t take claim their paid holidays. When your senses gradually dull, you might want to think twice about having a break from work.
Child at heart
With September looming, students in most countries are returning to school in the fall with new stories to tell and new expectations, ready to start their academic year with a new sense of self, confidence and enthusiasm. They are well-rested and more importantly, they have had a change of scenery. They might have been to camp, gone abroad or even did nothing and stayed at home, but the schooldays routine was broken and that allowed them a breath of fresh air.
Why take a break from work
Similarly in companies big, medium and small, if you have been working on something everyday for the past year, it is easy for you to slip up on the little things. Taking a break from work include cutting off from work completely. In a 2014 survey, 34% of senior managers in the US said that the biggest mistake that they made when they took their last holiday was that they didn’t take enough time off. In another survey, 61% said that they continued working while on holiday. 25% said that it was that they couldn’t take their mind off work, while 22% said that it was that they checked in at the office too much. Being complete cut off from work allows you to experience a lifestyle that isn’t revolved around one specific area. Your mind is free to wander, resulting in a promising level of inspiration that you might not even notice. When it is time to go back to work, a well-rested worker is now happier, more relaxed and more inspired. This is also how better ideas arise when you look at the same problem from a different point of view after some time.
How to prepare for an effective holiday
To ensure a well-rested holiday, prepare for it and set boundaries.
- Inform the office and your team that you will be away for a certain amount of time.
Organize and delegate tasks to other team members / colleagues.
Create different emergency and non-emergency scenarios to let your team know when to contact you and when not to contact you.
Lower expectations of those who have work-related expectations from you.
Your role in your employees’ holiday
Many a times, the quality of a hard-earned holiday is compromised by employers expecting on-holiday employees to perform certain tasks. A 2013 survey showed that 24% to 38% of these tasks included receiving text messages, e-mails and calls from work. 69% said that they will bring at least one work-capable device with them on their holiday. It is quite impossible to enjoy a good holiday when workers constantly have work tasks on their minds, this is especially true when an on-holiday employee cannot do anything to solve a work problem. This could backfire with employees ending up even more tired and drained by worrying over overworking, as 34% of the same survey says that these workers very responsibly do the work, but not happily. 29% of them say that they end up feeling that their bosses don’t respect their time and 24% do worry about the boundaries of their personal lives.
The final takeaway from this is that holidays are meant to be relaxing, happy and fun, and that does not equate a loss to your work. Use this chance of August holidays to reap the benefits of going on holiday or letting your employees go on holiday.
Patricia Goh is a product specialist at Ganttic where she helps managers better utilise their resources and meet project goals. She provides guidance on resource planning and visual scheduling using Ganttic. Find out more about capacity utilisation, resource planning and project management insights at www.ganttic.com/blog.