business mattersfreelance worklife

guilt trip

Say yes to guilt-free holidays

Staycation booked, out of office on – time for a happy holiday? Maybe for you, but what about the co-workers, clients and other stakeholders you leave behind?

In factories across the UK and Europe, July and August are traditionally when plants are shut down in their entirety. This two week – or sometimes month-long – hiatus allows for essential maintenance to the factory and its equipment, and provides much needed time off for employees, all without stretching the workforce beyond its limitations.

You see, manufacturers understand that an assembly line without a full complement of operators doesn’t work very efficiently and in truth, the same can be said of any business.

In the professional services industry though, we haven’t yet adopted that approach to employee holidays. We strive to maintain productivity and service levels, even when we don’t have the resources to do what needs doing and that inevitably puts a strain on the workers left behind to pick up the slack.

If I was a full time employee going on maternity leave, long term sick leave or a sabbatical, my employer would draft in a temporary replacement to help hold the fort. But no-one hires in an extra body to boost capacity during the holiday season. Why is holiday cover not a thing??

Just imagine – for a couple of weeks a year, you bring in an extra pair of hands to help cover holidays. A fully qualified specialist who can just hit the ground running – picking up handover notes, getting copy written, securing media coverage and generally keeping the wheels turning.

Your team can leave for their holidays, guilt-free, knowing their colleagues have the resources needed to cover their share of the load in their absence. Employees come back refreshed and relaxed and ready to work. Isn’t that what annual leave is there for?

COVID-19 has given us a moment to pause and rethink how we work and what productivity really means. Allowing employees to work from home doesn’t make them less productive, and similarly, giving employees more work doesn’t make them more productive.

Let’s really Be Kind this summer, and ensure everyone has a relaxing break and a chance to properly unwind before we face the next chapter of 2020.

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