Work life balance: Why you should use ALL your holiday entitlement

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A family of five walking along a beach at sunset, with the parents taking all of their holiday entitlement.

With the festive season now behind us, we’re refreshed and ready to start the new year with gusto and recharged energy. Right…? Right?

While for many, the festive season brings a welcome respite from the daily stresses and anxieties that can come from working in a high pressure environment, for others this may not necessarily be the case. Whatever the reason, it’s not always easy to take time away from work, especially if you’re a in a PA job or executive assistant role who supports a senior exec that depends heavily on you for their daily necessities and general firefighting.

The average full-time UK employee is entitled to 28 days’ annual leave a year including public holidays. Despite this, most of us only take three quarters* of our holidays. Regardless of how many days’ leave you’re entitled to at your place of work, you should always aim to take them, and here’s why:

Aligning the balance

Taking a holiday isn’t just about sun, sea and sand. It’s about taking a break from the work place and aligning yourself back to your true centre. Work-life balance isn’t just a buzz word. It’s incredibly important in ensuring your mind and body are healthy, focussed and comfortable. Taking regular breaks from work means you can return to work refreshed with perspective and renewed objectivity.

Improving productivity

Are you feeling guilty – or worse, made to feel guilty – about taking time away from the office? Don’t. UK employers are increasingly aware of the importance of work-life balance, and the research to support the links between it and employee productivity is gathering pace. By encouraging flexible working and work-life balance, your employer will see reduced stress levels, improved productivity and enhanced efficiency in your performance.

Your friends and family

They need you too. And (presumably!) unlike your job, they’re here for life. It’s not uncommon at all for marriages to break down as a result of an imbalance in working hours. Even taking work home can put a strain on relationships with friends and family. According to a recent Glassdoor survey*, nearly half (44%) of employees reportedly worked while they were on holiday. This doesn’t contribute to quality time, and while you can offer to be contacted by your workplace before you go on leave, ensure they know it should be in case of ‘emergencies’. By leaving detailed handover notes in place, any contact should be minimal to none.


If you’re constantly neglecting your social life, fitness, hobbies and well-being to spend time in the office, you’ll invariably start fostering negative feelings towards your workplace and managers. Taking time out will allow you the opportunity to regain perspective and spend time on YOU, thereby giving your positivity a boost in and out of the office.

On that note, we sincerely hope you take our advice and book in your holidays for the year ahead. The anticipation of a holiday alone can also help to lift spirits and give you a goal to work towards, so book them ahead of time to maximise the benefits!

If you’re unhappy in your current place of work and need a break, temping can be a great way to give you more flexibility and balance in between permanent roles. Give us a call today to find out more.

Author David Morel Tiger Recruitment Team

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