We all need some time off of work and out of the office every once in a while, which is why all full-time workers in the UK are legally entitled to 28 days off a year: this is known as annual leave.
However, we don’t all make the most of our time away from work and that’s a shame when you think about it. So, here are some of our thoughts on how you can start getting more from your time off.
You should always try to plan your annual leave as early in the year as possible for a few different reasons. Firstly, you’ll be informing your boss of when you want your time off to take place, which allows them to move some shifts around in advance or ensure they can get the appropriate cover for your role during those periods.
Furthermore, it outlines right off the bat, that there are certain dates you’re looking to gain some free time in; this should help to solve issues surrounding clashes with other workers’ requests. If you book your holidays in before someone else, you’ll be the one that is confirmed to get that time off.
Lastly, you need to actually think about what you’ll be doing during your time off. Get a few things scheduled in early so you can look forward to them coming up on your calendar. If you have some time off booked in but no actual events or activities to fill that time up with, it may seem quite wasteful by the time it comes to an end.
When you are booking annual leave, make sure you are maximising your time and filling it out to the fullest extent, by giving yourself certain things to do throughout it. Perhaps you want to go and visit family members you haven’t been able to see for a while, or maybe you fancy getting on a plane and taking a trip abroad; whatever the case is, plan it in plenty of time.
Book consecutive days off
When it comes to taking some time away from work, you may not always have a full-on holiday booked in. However, that should not mean you cannot take a week off here and there. Even if you just need a certain day every so often to attend an event, etc. you should think about whether or not it would be more advantageous for you to take more time than you need.
Annual leave should be a time where you’re stepping back and taking a break from your work-related problems and issues; it should be a relaxation period. So, with that being said, if you only book a single day off, you’ll just spend the evening regretting not taking more time, as you’ll be back in the office in a matter of hours.
Bank holiday 2021
For many people, bank holiday’s will take up some of your yearly annual leave, so therefore you may want to plan around them. Do you want these to slot into your other engagements, or are you fine with having a long weekend every couple of months? You could try and maximise your annual leave by planning your time off around bank holidays and work things out from there.
Everyone is more than ready for their annual leave in 2021, and with the world slowly returning back to some kind of normality, you can expect most people to book time off during the latter stages of the year, so that they can do all the things they’ve been missing out on lately.
Do you want to maximise your time off this year?
Throughout the remainder of 2021, your Bank Holidays could become very important to you, as they can often be used as something more than just a long weekend. By booking some time off in and around the days you’ll be getting automatically, you’ll start stacking up some extensive holidays like never before.
Here are the dates you could book off from work if you want to maximise your time spent away from the office this year:
April 2021: You can turn eight days off into sixteen very quickly in April.
Take off 29, 30, 31 March and 1, 6, 7, 8, 9 April to make the most of the Bank Holidays on April 2 and 5.
May 2021: If you take off four days, you can award yourself with two nine-day breaks.
Take annual leave on May 4, 5, 6 and 7 to enjoy the Bank Holiday of May 3.
Book off 1, 2, 3, 4 June and get 29 May – 6 June.
August 2021: Save four annual leave days for a nine-day holiday in September.
Take off August 31, and September 1, 2 and 3 to make the most of the August 30 Bank Holiday.
December 2021: Get yourself ten days away from work by only booking three days off.
Book off 29, 30, 31 December and get 25 December – Monday 3rd January.
More good news, Brits can look forward to another Bank Holiday in 2022 after the Government announced we’ll be getting one extra day to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on June 3 unlike VE Day that was not an annual public holiday because of the proximity of the May Day bank holiday
Keep in mind when your bank holidays are
As we’ve mentioned, your bank holidays can really play a huge part in getting you those much-needed breaks from the workplace, so consider aligning these with your requested time off:
(These are correct for 2021 England and Wales)
1 January Friday – New Year’s Day
2 April Friday – Good Friday
5 April Monday – Easter Monday
3 May Monday – Early May Bank Holiday
31 May Monday – Spring bank holiday
30 August Monday Summer bank holiday
27 December Monday – Christmas Day (Substitute Bank Holiday)
28 December Tuesday – Boxing Day (Substitute Bank Holiday)
Let it help to relieve stress
Well-designed, organised and managed work is good for us, but when insufficient attention to job design, work organisation and management has taken place, it can result in work-related stress. Work-related stress develops because a person is unable to cope with the demands being placed on them. Stress, including work-related stress, can be a significant cause of illness and is known to be linked with high levels of sickness absence, staff turnover and other issues such as more errors.
Stress can hit anyone at any level of the business and recent research shows that work related stress is widespread and is not confined to particular sectors, jobs or industries. That is why a population-wide approach is necessary to tackle it.
If you feel stressed or begin to notice your stress levels rising and think it may be something to do with work, you should do something about it. Is the position you’re currently in right for you? Perhaps not. Maybe it’s something else entirely, but throughout this article we will take a deep dive into the different causes of work-related stresses and how they can leave people feeling anxious or feeling down, and how to possibly resolve those feelings.
Taking some annual leave can be a great way to combat the stressful feelings you may be currently experiencing. This is because it gets you out of a difficult environment and allows you to clear your head, before going back to your job in a more focused and clam state of mind.
Be smart about your travels
It may seem obvious, but if you’re planning on visiting a destination further afield, think about travelling as wisely as you can. This maximises your time without exhausting yourself to the point of undoing all the holiday relaxation you’ve been desperate for since the same time last year.
We understand how tempting it can be to book the latest return flight you possibly can, hitting the runway on a Sunday night or catching a red-eye flight to get to work for 9am on Monday morning, but really, is it going to be worth it for you, or will it solely be detrimental? So often I hear stories of people saving money on flights so they can spend more on a hotel and while this does seem sensible, most reputable travel companies will work tirelessly to make sure you can balance the two.
Fly and travel smart to maintain the energy you’ve worked so hard to recharge while being away. Make sure you walk back into the office ready and raring to go, rested and rejuvenated. Besides, that is what time away from your day job is for.
Remember to book the time off!
You have to actually book the time off of work in order for you to be able to get it. If you fail to do so, you’ll either run the risk of losing out on your annual leave, or you’ll have it thrown in randomly throughout the year by your boss. You need to make sure you’re taking control of this situation, as it is your holiday time that we are talking about here.
You’ll need a few moments of relaxation throughout the year, so to ensure you are maximising the potential of those, be clear about the time you’d like to book off of work and get it done early. If you forget about it, you’ll only have yourself to blame for the missed opportunities it brings with it.