All Work And No Play? Know the Importance of Time Away | Foxy News

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All Work And No Play? Know the Importance of Time Away

31th July 2017

Thinking of having an extended holiday? The benefits are endless!

Summer, the season of sweet smelling ice cream and long days of sunshine, but it isn’t all so rose tinted in the world of work and sometimes your management can become disgruntled by the increase of the amount of employees off on holiday.

In this blog post, we ask if taking time away from the desk is actually beneficial? Not just to employees but to the company as a whole? With modern companies scrapping the old traditional two weeks away in August, the dynamic firms, such as Netflix and Google are utilising the new schemes of encouraged lunch hours and long periods of time away.

As more companies start to recognise employees’ wellbeing and the effects of good health on the quality of work, some employers are welcoming increased time away and even unlimited holidays. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has actually offered employees unlimited time away, with himself taking up to 6 weeks of holidays every year. He not only states that time away has a lasting impact on individuals work productivity, but also helps encourage innovation and new ideas as the employees are exposed to new experiences developing new skills. This, in-turn, leads to a more creative and enjoyable work environment and psychologically happier employees. Taking time-off can decrease stress and help the body physically. A healthier, happier mind due to time away from the office can boost motivation once employees return.

Employees who do not utilise their holidays are suggested to be more likely to suffer from stress and anxiety. Strains on personal life is almost inevitable with stress from work, however, by taking a holiday or time away from work to spend with loved ones can enhance relationships with family, which in-turn can make employees more relaxed within the workplace.

Bear in mind, the responsibility of unlimited time away rests on the relationship between employer and worker; there must be some loose rules set in place, such as an amount of time away that is deemed to be acceptable. Studies suggest that workers feel upset and de-motivated if co-workers take multiple weekends off, leading to friction and complaints of favouritism within the work place, however, if managed correctly within the HR departments, more holidays could lead to a much happier and productive work environment.  

The busy lunch hour

On a smaller, but with just as much weighting on importance, is the significance of utilising employees lunch break. Increasing numbers of workers are feeling pressurised to ‘stay in and have lunch’ or even stay at the desk without having a break or eating, thus firms encouraging a ‘away from the desk’ lunch is vital. In recent studies, managers are finding an energy decrease in the afternoon, leading to more mistakes in employees work and a decrease in productivity. A study carried out by HR grapevine found that employees are working on average an additional 7.5 unpaid hours per week. The individual is not only missing out on pay but an opportunity to socialise with other employees.

Studies show by creating a friendly ethos within the workplace can increase the quality of work. Taking a lunch break is particularly important for work relations, for the example, the relationship between boss and employee. The junior member may feel more relaxed around senior members if they are able to socialise within lunch hours meaning they can freely ask questions and become wiser within their role. Similarly, employee relationships with other employees is significantly essential in a thriving workplace. Good peer relationships can lead to happier individuals within the company; which can therefore increase retention of staff members. By skipping lunch, it can lead to anxiety and depression, which could lead to higher sickness and not to mention the effects not eating can have on an individual both in work and in personal life.

Taking a lunch break isn’t just about eating lunch, lunchtime activities such as going to the gym, stretching your legs and getting out of the air-conditioned cycle lead can increase attention span in the afternoon; try a new place, increase creativity by switching your environment to a bustling coffee shop. Overall, lunch breaks can lead to happier relations, a more motivated individual and ultimately a better staff retention rate within the organisation – don’t miss out, take that lunch and treat yourself. Speaking of treating yourself, where’s my passport?