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'Aussies are suffering': Why it's good for your employees to take a holiday

December 01, 2021 | Insights

Australians have always been a nation of hard workers, and that’s true now more than ever.

According to research by Expedia, Australian workers are taking less and less annual leave each year.

The study of 11,144 respondents found that people prefer to go away for a weekend rather than a week or two. On average, Australians only take 14 of their 20 days annual leave. Shockingly, in 2018 one in six Australians didn’t take a single day off. 

But in an ‘always on’ society, encouraging employees to take holidays is important for you and them.


Improves productivity and retention

Putting a brake on everyday life and taking the time to relax, increases employee productivity, improves staff retention, and reduces absenteeism. It’s a winning combination for both employee and employer.

Employees return from leave feeling motivated and so perform more effectively. The result? A consistently high quality of work and a similarly consistent or improved bottom line.

When employees take a break it also reduces the risk of accidents occurring due to stress or fatigue.


Builds good company culture

Company culture embraces so many things, including goals, ethics and beliefs. But more importantly it’s about creating an environment where employees feel valued and where their wellbeing is priority.

While pay, perks and benefits are always well received, encouraging employees to take time out is priceless. Taking holidays allows employees the time to recharge and relax.

Reassuring employees that their workload can be handled in their absence gives them the confidence to switch off and enjoy a break. Supporting employees to take a break breeds loyalty and promotes a caring culture.


Reduces burnout

Burnout is increasingly common in the workplace and is generally characterized by feelings of exhaustion and stress.

Aussies are suffering much worse than we usually think. A 2020 worldwide study found that Australians have one of the highest burnout rates of any country. Last year alone, almost four in five of us suffered burnout, six per cent above the global average.

Taking holidays can stop burnout in its track. Reduced stress helps lower the risk of anxiety and depression and improves sleep. Subsequently, recharged, and rested employees are more productive, focused, and positive on their return.


Good for physical wellbeing

Taking holidays is not only good for an employee’s mental health, it’s also good for their physical wellbeing. Not heading off for some fun in the sun or snow could really take its toll.

A World Health Organisation (WHO) study found that 745,000 people died in 2016 from heart disease and stroke due to long hours.

The research found that working 55 hours or more a week was associated with a 35% higher risk of stroke and a 17% higher risk of dying from heart disease than a workweek of 35 to 40 hours.


Fuels positivity and creativity

Escaping the everyday stress and routine of life and work is bound to put a smile on anyone’s face. Research shows this is true. A study by TravelOnline revealed that 64.7 per cent of Australians return from holiday feeling happier than when they left.

Similarly, 66 per cent of Australians return from holidays feeling refreshed and energized which has a knock on effect on productivity and concentration.

Research shows that post holidays, employees are more likely to come up with creative insights, projects, and breakthroughs.


Other reasons why it’s good for employees to take a holiday include better social life, improved sleep, more positive attitude, and better job satisfaction. What’s not to love?

Author - Frontline Human Resources


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