Over half of the UK is set to say ‘goodbye’ to their annual leave & ‘hello’ to burnout

Love Island has kicked off and the countdown to summer has officially began.

As many scour Asos looking for the latest summer must haves, for many UK workforces the prospect of taking annual leave fills them with an overwhelming sense of dread. So much so, that according to Acas, half of UK employees do not take all their annual leave year on year. Perhaps even more surprisingly, figures from Glassdoor reveal that the average UK employee sacrifices 6.5 days of their holiday entitlement each year through fear of being out of the office.

Research conducted by the Trade Union Centre sees that more than 3.4 million workers are in the office for an access of 48 hours a week. As a result, even when they take their precious annual leave, holiday companies boasting of free WiFi makes the prospect of checking office emails impossible to resist.

It is perhaps difficult to identify burnout, and many can only define it once it is too late. However, if you are finding it increasingly difficult to engage, your productivity is declining, and you are generally working at a slower pace, perhaps it is time to contemplate identifying yourself as experiencing burnout.

Here, the financial advisory service Finance give their five tips on why it is crucial that we all take a break outside of the office and how to avoid the workplace burnout that is sweeping the UK.

I am not as productive as I used to be

As the old cliché goes, it is important to ‘work smarter and not harder’. Working on the premise that if you work for hours on end you will reap the rewards seems logical enough however, it is not sustainable.

We fully understand that we cannot constantly work on our phones without pausing to charge the device however, we do not apply the same logic to our brains. Our brains are high functioning tools that need recharging. Powering through for hours will in fact lower productivity. The quality of work is always going to be what you are recognised for rather than the notion of producing vast amounts of average work in a short space of time.

They will miss me when I am gone

Preparation is key. Plan your annual leave in advance and prepare for it accordingly. Bosses, colleagues, customers and clients all understand that everybody is entitled to annual leave. They also understand that it is very much needed. Ensure that you distribute assets and information accordingly so that if any unsuspected events occur, you are covered.

I can’t relax

Many believe that they will not be able to relax once they have headed to the beach and therefore see no point in taking leave. It is amazing how little changes when you are out of the office for a couple of weeks. Those vital tasks that a client demands? Turns out they can wait. The client catch up calls? A solid handover can ensure that they are always up to speed.

We have free WiFi

The prospect of free Wifi can make it almost impossible not to check your emails. A quick response to a couple of emails can seem harmless however, you are bound to get a reply and before you know it you are one step away from your laptop accompanying you to your sun lounger. Responding to emails puts you in the ‘workplace mindset’. The feeling of a break is soon diminished once this mindset is attained. It is also worth baring in mind that once you position yourself as contactable throughout your holiday, then you cannot complain when the office frequently touches base. Turn on the out of office and keep it there.

I am tackling a mountain

Dread the workload once you return to the office? No problem if you delegate accordingly. A simple to do list for each relevant colleague will avoid a mountain of work upon your office return.

I am busy, like so busy. Busier than you, you and you.

It has somewhat become engrained in workplace culture to voice how busy you are. It is such a common phrase that it is almost used to seek approval from peers and as a medium to reinstate your importance within the workplace and exert authority. If you are worried that people will think less of you for going on holiday, then it is important to remember that the same people will take holiday someday to. They will always remember the quality of your work over the amount of annual leave you have taken.

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