Handling summer holidays

By Siobhan Courtney, managing director, Eventus Legal.

As we all go back to work and the children don their new (rubbing) school shoes, statistically this is the quarter of the year where most people change jobs and a lot of this is due to having time off work during the summer to 'reflect' on their current working situation.

Much research has gone into retaining your workforce and at this time of year the findings are particularly relevant.

But maybe it is worth thinking about making the run up to and during the employees holiday less stressful.

Here’s how: –
  • Reduce the pressure on staff during holiday periods, it is beneficial to make sure time off within the business is staggered and that not too many members of staff are away at the same time
  • Encourage staff to spread their holidays throughout the year, perhaps taking some of their entitlement in each quarter. This will reduce the number of staff taking time off together and ensures that employees take frequent breaks from the workplace
  • When project deadlines are decided, always consider holidays. Remember that projects which need to be rushed for completion before a holiday may suffer from lack of attention and those that are not completed could be left in the hands of less-experienced or qualified members of staff
  • Make it company policy to discourage staff from taking work laptops, mobile phones etc. on holiday Educate your workforce on the effects of holiday stress and how they can learn to combat it
It can however be a two-way attack though and maybe the individual could have a think about doing this also to make their time away and in return their return to work less stressful too.

Be realistic: If asked to complete a task before a holiday and there isn’t enough time to complete it before you leave, make your employers aware as soon as possible so they can find an alternative solution

Effective handover: Make sure a suitable person is identified to oversee emails and requests in your absence. Set aside adequate time for a comprehensive handover to ensure they are aware and up to speed with everything that you have been working on

Delegate: Prime colleagues to answer queries in absence. This will lessen the workload on return and they may be pleased that you show confidence in their abilities

Coping: In times of stress ensure you take regular breaks and make time to eat a healthy, balanced diet. This will help your body to deal with the effects of excess pressure

Ask for help: If one begins to feel unable to cope with a workload, seek help from colleagues, don’t feel that you should struggle on. And finally, if professional assistance for stress is needed, don’t be afraid to ask for it So next year hopefully if we implement just a few of these points we can all go away and enjoy the sun, sea and sangria and look forward to work not dread that alarm clock.