You Need a Holiday

I’m back from a fabulous holiday in Mallorca.

Fabulous why? Time to relax, switch off from work, recharge my battery, eat fabulous food, laugh (a lot!), cycle, swim, explore, spend time with loved ones, learn about another culture.

This is the ‘recipe’ for a successful holiday for me.  What’s yours?

mallorca-photo-for-blog-161018We all need holidays to recharge our energy levels and executives are no exception. Keeping the balance between work and life is critical.

It’s all too easy to forget that wonderful, post-holiday feeling when heavy workloads, deadlines, pressure and stress threaten to eat into our precious vacation days. Most people are allocated a minimum number of holiday days a year but many of us don’t take them!

In the US in 2014, for example, workers only took 51% of the small number of their holiday allowance and 15% of people took no time off at all (US Travel Association survey). The reasons? Worries about falling behind in their work and concerns that they would lose their edge on the competition for promotions.

Despite the shift to empower workers to take their holidays, many still feel guilty about it, drag their feet and then struggle to schedule time off at the last minute. But this reasoning is flawed.

Research shows that not only are holidays good for you but that they may also increase productivity meaning they’re good for the workplace and for your career as well.

Many of you have heard my theories around Quality Recovery Time as a critical component of the peak performance. Holidays give us:

More energy

Research has found that after taking a holiday, executives are less tense and stressed, and to have higher levels of energy.

Improved health

Research has shown that people on holiday immediately feel healthier, have less physical complaints and even have a reduction in cholesterol levels on their return.

Increase productivity

Executives who have had a holiday see the tasks they have to complete as part of their job as less effortful compared to before they took time off

Greater creativity

Individuals who felt that their holiday was highly recuperative, experienced enhanced effects when they went back to work. They were happier and more satisfied with their lives even in the face of a heavy workload on their return.

This shows that it’s not enough just to leave the office, you also need to switch off when you take time off.

Ability to role mode leadership behaviours

Executives are not just business leaders, they are also model leaders; the way they live their working lives shapes the culture within their organisations. This is why they need to become the change they want to see.

A year after Evernote announced its unlimited vacation program, the Boston Globe reported that then CEO Phil Libin, who introduced the program, had not taken a vacation in a year.

Leaders should take their time off and encourage other management to do the same and make a point of it. Ensure the leadership makes it clear that the company views vacations as economically sound, fun and fully beneficial to the workforce and the company. Attitude is everything here.

 

It doesn’t matter what your recipe is for a fabulous holiday….. Just take one!!