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Mindful Leave-Taking: The Importance of Taking Annual Leave for Employee Well-being

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Why do people sometimes avoid vacations? Whatever the reason, taking annual leave – especially when working in demanding jobs – will have immediate benefits in reducing stress and burnout. An emerging trend among passion-obsessed people is people who work multiple jobs because they feel less motivated due to the demands and limitations of working from home. They then believe that working is the only way to relieve stress and wish to have multiple sources of income. One to two weeks of rest is enough to recover and feel a surge of positive emotions. This will begin to taper off as free time ends, but still provides the rest needed to recharge your batteries. Although this benefit is temporary, it can help satisfy accrued annual medical leave requirements.

Here’s why you should take your annual leave at work:

1. Reduces stress

Taking annual leave allows you to take a well-deserved break from the stresses and demands of professional life. Disconnecting from meetings, deadlines and other stressful situations can rejuvenate your mind, meaning you'll be healthier when you return to work. However, stress often returns, which is why it's important to schedule annual leave throughout the year. Taking regular short breaks can act as a preventative measure for problems such as depression and burnout, ensuring you're in the best shape to handle the stress of busy work periods.

2. Increases productivity

Taking annual leave can help you be more productive when you return to work. Sometimes stepping away from a problem allows you to gain a new perspective and gives you new and creative solutions. A study by Employee Benefit Plans International found that using annual leave improves employee productivity by up to 40% and reduces the risk of sick leave by 28%. So, using annual leave is not only beneficial to you, but also beneficial to your employer as it ensures that they get the best and most productive version of you.

3. Reduces risk of health complications

We all go through stressful periods at work: deadlines, urgent meetings to schedule, and rapidly growing email inboxes that need immediate attention. Studies have shown that working at maximum capacity for long periods of time puts you at higher risk for serious health complications, such as heart attack, heart disease, and stroke. Therefore, taking annual leave is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

4. Improves work-life balance

Dedication and work ethic are important qualities needed for career success. However, it's easy to fall into the trap of constantly working whether in the office or at home. Although your job is important, it is not your entire life. Taking annual leave can have a huge positive impact on your work-life balance and overall mood by giving you more time to bond with your family, socialize and reconnect with friends or take more vacations than you've always wanted.

Source: Europian Commission, Krona, Employsure

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