Why taking a holiday is vital for productivity

Posted on by Jo Shaw

Estimated read time: 4 mins

Are you amongst the 9% of SME owners who haven’t holidayed in 5 years?

When you run a small business, getting any kind of break can be hard. When you’re simultaneously juggling the roles of CEO, Marketing Manager, Customer Service Director and Cleaner; and your precious one day off a week is spent doing paperwork and planning; the thought of taking an actual holiday can seem like an impossibility.

According to research, 61% of SME owners check their emails on holiday and 51% book work in whilst they’re away so they’ve got work when they return home. Alarmingly 11% of SME owners are contacted by their staff whilst they’re on holiday, making a relaxing holiday almost impossible.

All work and no play can prove disastrous for your business ambitions, so here’s why taking a break is vital:

  1. Delegate and discover

Getting away is the perfect opportunity to delegate some of your everyday tasks to someone else. SME leaders are often used to doing everything themselves, even if they no longer need to, but handing over responsibility means that not only do you give an employee the chance to learn new skills, but they could also come up with better, easier ways of doing things.

  1. Plan ahead

If you think about it, there’s probably never a perfect time to leave your business, so plan ahead and stick to it anyway. Get someone you trust to cover the basics – emergency emails and calls, for example. Tell all your clients well in advance and make sure you have a solid plan in place to reduce the risk of anyone needing you while you’re away. Now’s a good time to start planning for a break over the Christmas period.

  1. Make an investment

You wouldn’t buy a new van and never service it, or stock up on new IT equipment without updating it, so choose to make an investment in your health too. If you’re not well, both physically and mentally, your business will suffer in the long run. Make your own health a priority and invest in it regularly with exercise, a good diet, enough sleep and breaks.

  1. See things clearly

Sometimes taking a step back can allow you to see the bigger picture much more clearly. Your brain will still be mulling over problems in the background and who hasn’t experienced that middle-of-the-night eureka moment. Give yourself the head space and who knows what brilliant ideas you could come up with.

  1. Set an example

By making sure you’re taking a holiday, you’re setting a great example to your employees. All of these benefits apply to them too and if they can see that you value a good work/life balance, they’re more likely to feel comfortable doing the same. Well-rested, happy employees are the ones who will add most value to your business.

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