Annual leave | THIS is how often Brits need time off to avoid burnout

THIS is how often Brits need time off to avoid burnout

Employee wellbeing is paramount for both staff members on an individual level and for the business as a whole.

Taking time off and having time away from work is crucial to ensure that employees have time to relax, unwind and recuperate.

New research from SPANA has found that British workers feel the need to take a break at least once every 43 days to avoid the effects of burnout.

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According to SWNS Digital, seven in ten survey respondents agreed that they suffered from fatigue and feeling run down if they went too long without taking annual leave.

For three in ten, sleepless nights were a key indicator that work stress was beginning to take its toll on mental and physical health.

In addition, the study unearthed that 23% will look to take a break if they find themselves unable to control their negative emotions.

The importance of ‘regular pit-stops’

Geoffrey Dennis, Chief Executive at animal charity SPANA, said that having ‘regular pit-stops’ can make all the difference when it comes to productivity and wellbeing in the workplace.

“It is so important to book time out before it gets to the point where you aren’t eating, sleeping or functioning properly,” Dennis added.

Tell-tale signs for many that time away from the workplace is becoming a pressing issue is the feeling that stress is mounting – which 56% recognised, and that mental wellbeing is visibly starting to deteriorate, at 53%.

Whilst travel outside of the UK is currently allowed under certain circumstances, respondents claimed that this isn’t a necessary part of recovery.

Seven in ten British employees said they don’t feel the need to go abroad and are happy to spend time recovering at home in what many call a ‘staycation’.

Of those who are imminently looking to take time off, almost half said that their plans included ‘simply relaxing in the garden’, according to the data.

43% said that taking long walks was another effective way of rejuvenating, whilst 32% said exercising and 23% said pursuing personal interest hobbies were also relaxing.

In addition, one-fifth of workers relished the thought of booking time off to do absolutely nothing.

Tackling burnout should be high up on the HR agenda

With a large portion of employees spending increased periods of time at home, some may think that burnout is less prevalent.

However, various studies such as one conducted by medical science website Patient, have evidenced just how prevalent the WHO-recognised workplace illness is amongst workforces.

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"Because the pandemic has brought an enforced change in lifestyle for most people, we are all a lot more susceptible to burnout," Dr Rekha Tailor, a former GP, told Patient.

"Most of us are currently trying to cope in situations beyond our usual situation and control – whether that be key workers who are working longer hours, parents who are juggling home-schooling and work, or vulnerable people who are forced to self-isolate and are missing out on their usual routines.

“This puts a strain on everyone in different ways, " she added.

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