Take Charge of Your Recharge

Written by Isabelle Larche

Managing Director, Recruitment & Executive Search at Timeo-Performance
Published on 09-07-2018

When was the last time you took a holiday?

Plenty of research and articles exalt the virtue of going on vacation and taking breaks. Main benefits include improved employee retention, higher feelings of safety and wellness as well as replenished cognitive, physical and emotional resources.

Leave woes

But knowing this, employees (particularly in Asia) still seem to struggle with using all their leave days or even requesting to go on holiday. A study found that Japanese and South Koreans have the most unused vacation days. Japanese are offered an average of twenty days and South Koreans fifteen. But they only take twelve and six days of leave respectively, leaving eight and nine days of annual leave behind. Why would they leave vacation days behind? It could be a fear of their boss’ and colleagues’ reactions or the ‘mountain’ of work that they might return to after a break and not conforming to the belief that longer hours means more dedication or more employee success. Meanwhile, Singaporeans are vacation deprived. It appears that the 14 days of leave given to us are all taken up but still insufficient.

Take a break!

Either way, this phenomenon is not healthy for corporations and humans alike. With overwork, strain reactions like burnout, stress, fatigue and negative moods all come into play. We end up less productive with the same or even longer hours. (Read more) It’s like trying to run 5 apps at a time while on 10% battery. Not very effective. We get less done and we also run out of juice. Worth it? I think not.

Breaks increase productivity

As an employer, there are some things you could do to encourage your employees to take time off. Try mentioning the importance of taking all available employee holiday time, creating easy channels for peer recognition and rewards to show support for a culture of personal health, facilitating the delegation of tasks and even offering employee incentives. You might begin to see more refreshed and energized workers after implementing these.

This week, I bring you 4 articles on how to schedule a productive weekend, plan a successful summer vacation, how to check your email while enjoying your holiday and the excuses that should not stop you from taking a holiday.

We understand that you need to plan holidays in advance. And not everyone has the luxury to go on holiday just yet. Since you have the weekend, it is also a good opportunity to take a break. Here’s how you can make the best out of this short break.

Still not convinced that you’re not a robot and that you actually need rest? Are those excuses you give to avoid taking a break really valid though? Find out what Abby Wolfe has to say about those excuses.

If you have already scheduled your summer vacation, here’s how to ensure it is a ‘successful’ one. 40% of people return from vacation feeling no better, or even worse than before they left. Don’t let that happen to you.

I would personally say – keep the phone at home. But if you insist on checking your email and voice mail during holiday, here’s how you can minimize the interruption it will have on your vacation.

BONUS: The Power of Time Off | Stefan Sagmeister

Every seven years, designer Stefan Sagmeister closes his New York studio for a yearlong sabbatical to rejuvenate and refresh their creative outlook. He explains the often overlooked value of time off and shows the innovative projects inspired by his time in Bali.



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Isabelle Larche
Isabelle is a Human Performance expert, with over 10 years of professional recruitment experience, and 15 years of Business Management Consulting experience. Isabelle is the Vice President of the French Chamber of Commerce and Trade Counsellor (Singapore Chapter) to the French Embassy.

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