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Our Hassle Free Guide To Booking Holiday Time Off Work

Posted on June 26, 2015 by James

Recent research, conducted by Robert Walters the recruitment group, has shown that approximately 40% of workers in the UK do not use up their full holiday allowance. Whether this is because employees are afraid to take extended periods of time away from work due to their workload, or simply because they don’t have the time to book off all the days they’re allowed, is unclear.

Whatever the reasoning for employees not taking their full allowance, we at Great Little Breaks encourage you to try your absolute hardest to have a ‘proper holiday’. This means a period of time away from the office and daily stresses, to relax and have some good old fashioned fun for at least 10 days!

It is essential for your own peace of mind and health that you give yourself some ‘you time’. We Brits may get the smallest amount of holiday entitlement in Europe but it still works out (for most) at about 28 days, when including public holidays.

Why not spoil yourself occasionally? Go on that 7 day cruise, or that 5 day ski trip or spend your entire holiday allowance taking any number of gorgeous long weekend breaks within the UK!

If you’re someone who struggles to get around to booking your family holiday, or secure just a few days either side of the weekend away from the office with your husband or wife, then hopefully the below guide will encourage and inspire you to do better:

1. Plan your holiday in advance

Unfortunately it seems many of us miss out on holiday because we’re forever waiting for a last minute deal. A few last minute long weekends away tends to be doable in this manner but anything longer can become quite problematic. Indeed, a survey by Robert Walters shows that 50% of people end up not taking their full holiday allowance for this reason.

Most people would rather save money when booking a holiday, but if waiting until the last minute means you miss out on an all-inclusive holiday to Florida or something a bit closer to home such as a city break to Paris or Edinburgh, a cultural trip to Warwickshire or a beach holiday in Cornwall, is it really worth the savings?

If you leave booking your holiday until the last minute, fares may well be cheaper but you, your partner, your children or your friends all stand a lesser chance of being able to take time off work and school. Booking a few months or more in advance will remove this issue.

2. Put it in your diary as soon as possible

As soon as you decide you’re taking a holiday, even before you’ve booked it, put it in your diary. This will make it all the more likely that you’ll stick to your plans. To make doubly sure, make sure you inform your team and line manager about your holiday dates.

This planning will ensure your team can adequately plan their own holiday, as well as their extra work for the time period you are away. It will also give everyone the chance to request work off you and provide deadlines before you go away.

3. You deserve a break – so don’t give yourself a hard time

So many workers don’t take holiday due to the guilt they feel at leaving their team with extra work. However, put this out of your mind. We all earn our holiday by working hard throughout the year and the extra work that gets picked up by those left behind always evens out in the end.

Do not feel guilty, you deserve not just one great little break, but many!

Taking time to relax and refuel whilst on holiday will allow you to recharge and ensure you go back to work healthy and revived, thus making you more productive. Those who don’t take holiday or give themselves any rest will find they become unwell and will have to take time off to get better, which just adds to the stress already being felt.

4. Treat others as you wish to be treated

Many people will have worked in an office where it seems one person is always on holiday, whilst another seems to work all the time…non-stop! If you are a line manager, it is important to be able to recognise when someone needs a holiday and to encourage those you are in charge of to take their holiday allowance.

It is healthy to have a good work versus life balance and holiday is a crucial part of this. Recognising the need for a holiday in others should help you to recognise the same need in yourself and thus encourage you to feel less guilty about taking the time off.

5. Don’t even think of taking your work phone with you!

It isn’t a real holiday if you spend hours tapping away on your phone, answering emails and calling the office. You’re likely to be a very unpopular mum or dad if you miss your child’s first solo dive into the swimming pool because you were checking your blackberry. Likewise if you spend half the holiday staring at your phone instead of into your husband/wife’s eyes, you most certainly won’t be the dish of the day!

Don’t be lulled into the idea that colleagues will leave you alone; if they know you have your work phone, they will contact you. It is a slippery slope. The safest thing is to just trust that colleagues back at the office can cope and just enjoy your holiday and spend some quality time with your loved ones!

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