The importance of taking time off from work 🕗

Copied to clipboard

The benefits of taking time off from work:


  • Employee happiness

Having time off work allows employees to focus on their life outside of work. Knowing how much annual leave you are entitled to will enable you to plan breaks and organise your time away from work.

Taking time off from work will also give the employee space to re-energise and enjoy time away from their working environment. Having a break could also improve the respect for management amongst staff, if they feel they are encouraged to use up their holiday or annual leave allowance.


  • Mental clarity

Taking time off from work will enable employees to focus their attention on other things such as their family, friends, a hobby or even just to simply chill out on the sofa and do nothing.

Either way, having some time away from being in ‘work-mode’ enables employees to return to work refreshed with mental clarity. At school, teachers will tell you to have a break so you can gain mental clarity after writing an essay before proof-reading it – the same rule applies with work.


  • A promotion

Even if you are living out your dream job, working 5 days a week in the same role can become repetitive and tiring.

Having a break has not only been said to improve productivity in the workplace but studies also suggest that employees who use up all their paid vacation days have a 6.5% better chance of getting promoted!


  • Better work/life balance

Encouraging employees to take some time off will help to keep a healthy work/life balance and avoid work related stress and burnouts.

Taking time off from work will enable you to not only be more productive and focused at work, but also spend more time with loved ones and increase happiness.


  • More time with loved ones

Research has showed that spending time with loved ones is important in keeping employees happy.

It has also been suggested that people who enjoy a lot of social support are better able to deal with mental and physical challenges. This will, in turn, help to increase productivity when the employee returns back to the workplace.

Tips for helping employees take their leave entitlement:

  • Make sure your employees are aware of how much annual leave they are entitled to
  • Encourage your direct reports to take leave
  • Offer to reassign work while they are on holiday
  • Stress that they shouldn’t check their work emails or bring a work phone on holiday – and ensure they have put an OOO email on.
  • If they are performing well, small gestures such as an early finish will be appreciated by employees.

How could you take this time off?

  1. Taking time off from work due to illness; mental and physical
  2. Taking time off from work to travel/ sabbatical / career break
  3. Swapping over your roles for a secondment
  4. Personal days that you are entitled to
  5. Calculating how much annual leave you are entitled to. Now you know the benefits of having some well-deserved time off from work, why not check out how much time you have off left this year?


You can calculate your time off from work entitlement here – you deserve it!


How other companies are getting on board:

  • Ryan LLC,  a tax services in Texas decided to stop tracking how long employees spend at the office and allowed them to work from home. The result of this was a turnover decrease from 22% to 6%.
  • New Zealand estate planning firm cut down to a four-day week while being paid the full 40 hours. They found their employees did the same amount of work in less time, because they found creative shortcuts to boost their productivity such as cutting down a two hour meeting to 30 minutes.
  • Cabin rental start-up Getaway made taking a four week vacation mandatory to help employee’s recharge. Rather than offering unlimited vacation which he believe created “real psychodrama” for employees due to the stress of knowing how may days to take off and feeling guilty about it.

Should you offer unlimited holiday to your employees?

Recently, it has become popular for companies to offer their employees unlimited holiday days. Large companies such as LinkedIn, Hubspot and Netflix, who were named one of the world’s best employers by Forbes in 2019, have jumped on the unlimited holiday bandwagon.


The benefits of unlimited holiday:

  • It’s a simple policy, employees can take as much time off as they like. Their days aren’t tracked so it’s up to them to decide how much time they want or need off.
  • It gives the employee a sense of control and more power in their role.
  • If employees are allowed to take the amount of time off from work that suits them, in theory they should be happier.
  • Flexibility and work life balance
  • It is thought to be beneficial to the business, unlimited holidays are thought to make staff more productive and reduce stress from overwork.


This sounds like the ideal situation for employees. Which poses the question; why did Software firm CharlieHR recently scrap their unlimited days policy? The company was founded in 2015 and from the get go, every employee no matter what role, received unlimited, fully-paid holiday days. After three years, they felt the need to address the stresses and strains form this policy.

It is tempting to think that the maybe all of the CharlieHR employees jetted off to Hawaii for 6 months, but the cons of unlimited holiday are in fact the opposite.


The cons of unlimited holiday:

  • There is a psychology behind unlimited holiday. If you are given 25 days holiday, then you feel as though they belong to you and you value them more highly. However, if you have unlimited holiday, then you may be more hesitant to take them.
  • Unlimited holiday can cause competition and anxiety in the workplace, Employees are left feeling guilty for choosing more time off from work than their peers. Taking more time off than a colleague can also cause concern about being viewed negatively in the workplace.
  • There is a degree of unfairness. If one person takes more time off from work than another, their work will still need to be covered. This begs the question: who will be picking up this work when the other is taking time off with their unlimited holiday?
  • Unlimited holiday does not actually mean unlimited. This creates a grey area for employees, leaving them to guess how much annual leave they are entitled to and making them nervous to ask for time off.

Summary video for ‘The Importance of Taking Time Off from Work’

Tip: Change the playback speed in the settings at the bottom right corner, to suit your learning requirements! Please feel free to embed this video on your website, or for more great videos for graduates and employers visit the Give A Grad A Go Recruitment YouTube Channel.


Are you an employer looking to hire graduates? Get in touch to find out more:


Get in touch

Revolutionise your hiring process.

Let us know your requirements and we’ll build a plan tailored to your needs.

    PhoneSchedule video call via emailEmail
    Was this post useful?