Many people don’t take their full annual leave allowance and they wear this as some kind of badge of honour. They assume that it makes them look like a harder working employee.
There is no evidence to support any of that.
Annual leave is there for a reason. Not using it doesn’t make you a better employee and it doesn’t mean that you’ll be seen in a better light by your employer either. If anything, it might make you appear as if you can’t cope with your workload and that you need to work overtime to keep up.
Your health has to come first. That’s something that modern society seems to forget. We’re so focused on sitting at our office desks, working hard and trying to get everything done before heading home that we forget to get up and move around, we forget to take our lunch, or we eat it quickly whilst we’re still working. None of this is healthy or productive.
Your annual leave needs to be taken in full every single year and you need to space it out across the year to ensure that you’re getting regular breaks from work and keeping your home and work-life balance in check.
Do you need to head off on an actual holiday somewhere exotic every single time? Not at all. You can stay home and potter around, redecorate, spend time with family and friends, or just do nothing at all – the point is that you’re not in the office and you’re enjoying downtime. That is something your brain and body both need.
It’s best to have chunks of leave together, rather than just having the odd day here and there. One week or two weeks together and spacing them out every three or four months should give you the mental break you need from work and time to relax and recuperate.
Not taking your annual leave isn’t a badge you should wear with pride, it’s something you need to sort out pretty quickly. That annual leave is something that you’re entitled to and something you should take. Every single person in the office needs to take their annual leave. Whilst it needs to be arranged carefully and fairly to ensure everyone gets a little of what they want, there should never be a situation where people are refused their leave entitlement across a year.