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Encouraging Adequate Time Off For Employee Well-being

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A survey carried out by the consulting company Eden McCallum shows that 63% of employees believe that home offices have a positive impact on the balance between work and leisure, and a third want more of it.

For many it seems ideal, but can working a lot from home be in danger of creating lasting changes in people's attitudes to work and leisure - primarily how does it affect people's perception of holidays? There is a growing concern that workers working more from home (which is good in one way) may be led to believe they are now permanently more relaxed and less likely to feel they need the regular (and official) the holiday. Figures from the ONS show that a third of the employees after the shutdown claim that they work fewer hours than before - and that the employees have apparently switched to working more flexibly. However, the situation is even worse for the other third who, according to the ONS, work too much - those who are unable to distinguish between private life and working life. For these, the lack of holiday completion can be far more worrying.

Regardless of which group the employees belong to, it is clear that they may now experience not taking a holiday. But the impact of not taking vacation is the same: The batteries drain, and if it goes on for a long time, it can lead to undiagnosed stress and other physical and mental ailments.

This is a situation employers must be aware of. It is perhaps surprising that British employees are already bad at taking holidays. In 2018, Glassdoor found that the average employee only took 62% of their annual leave. But now that work patterns are more fluid, it is important that employers have a better overview of who takes vacation and who does not, and who may thus be exposed to health damage, including burnout (which is now considered a disease by the World health organization).

As employers cannot insist that their employees take the 20 days of holiday they are entitled to (this is the statutory minimum for a full-time employee), the next best thing for responsible employers is to ensure that they have IT systems in place that monitor holiday, and a culture that encourages employees to take it (or encourage them to take carried-over leave over a shorter period of time).

This is so important that we believe that proactive holiday planning is an important prerequisite for good health and well-being among employees - especially because holidays have become a more complicated affair. Most employees can now "sell" up to five vacation days a year (through employee benefits portals that give employees money for days sold), which makes it even easier to assess whether employees should prioritize rest and relaxation. Because of the redundancies, it is also complicated to determine how much holiday you are entitled to. Today, holiday is normally accrued for those on leave, but employers can still demand that employees take holiday during the leave if they are given twice as much notice as the leave they want them to take. Never before have employers needed technology to manage, record and encourage employees to take valuable time off.

Without systems that make it easy to book time off, but also enable managers to assess who isn't taking vacation (and see if goals aren't being met or if absenteeism is increasing), it's likely that vacation will continue to be something they employees are ashamed or afraid to withdraw if they feel it will lead to even more pressure when they return. Vacation is a basic right for all employees. Rest and recovery is what is needed more than ever in an uncertain and anxiety-filled time. The summer holidays may just be over, but the holidays must start again - both for the sake of the employees and the company.

In promoting employee well-being, urging adequate time off is paramount. Utilize IceHrm to foster a culture that values breaks, ensuring a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce.

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