2 min read | 27 July, 2017 By Melissa Jones
Small business owners are notoriously bad for taking annual leave. Often they are reluctant to leave their business, but often times their business is their life and they don’t feel like they need to take a day off.
Research from Breathe has proved that small business owners are bad at taking annual leave showing that they have taken an average of 18 days annual leave in the last 12 months. Interestingly, 55% of managers aged 18-34 responded that they had taken fewer than ten days annual leave within the last 12 months. An eye watering number and also the most likely age group to do so.
It may initially seem perfectly harmless but this bad habit of small business owners not taking holiday is having an impact on their employees. One in three (36%) managers have contacted staff whilst they are on holiday and just 46% of UK employees are using their full 25 day annual leave entitlement. Without realising it, managers at small businesses are showing a certain amount of disregard for annual leave.
Here are 5 reasons that employers taking annual leave is good for business.
By taking a good amount of annual leave themselves and respecting their employees’ annual leave, employers will set a good precedent for their employees. This in turn should lead to their employees feeling comfortable taking the annual leave that they are entitled to and leave work behind when they do so. After all, employees taking annual leave is equally as good for business.
Being consumed by work and your working environment day in, day out can really restrict your perspective. By changing your scenery and your routine you leave yourself exposed to the unknown and new experiences that could lead to some eureka moments. Sometimes it just requires a step back to see things clearly and break through the habits you’ve formed.
For many business owners work/life balance is a bit of a myth. Instead they practice more of a work/life blend where the two areas coexist and blend in with one another - it’s not as easy as putting them into boxes as the two coincide so often. Taking annual leave is the opportunity work gives you to blend work to a minimum, with a heavy focus on life. This gives you the chance to spend time with family and loved ones and continue building and creating long-lasting memories with them. Equally, your absence from work will also be appreciated as it can help strengthen the bond you have with your employees.
Over half of employees aren’t using up their full holiday allowance and instead are feigning illness to get some much needed rest from work. One in seven employees have faked being sick, with the need for a ‘rest’ day being the number one reason (42%). Therefore, by taking annual leave and setting a good example, small business owners can reduce preventable absences in their business.
Taking time out to use up annual leave is a healthy thing to do. The effects of not doing so manifest themselves in negative ways such as preventable absence, employees not using up their own annual leave allowances and a burnt out workforce. It may only be a small thing but employers taking annual leave is just the beginning of creating a positive chain of events that are embedded into your company’s culture.
Employers might believe that them being away from their business will have catastrophic effects and could be their reason for taking a small amount of annual leave. However, their reluctance to take annual leave is actually having more of a detrimental and lasting effect. They are not setting a good example and are therefore promoting a negative culture within their company, leading employees to also not take holiday and become burnt out. By taking annual leave employers set the precedent and promote a positive culture.