It’s almost become a tradition! Every year Copper Oak writes a short article about the holidays of employees, managers and others (click here).
Indeed, now is the beginning of the most beautiful time of the year for many: the suitcases are packed, the car is loaded, the summer holidays can come. However, this well-deserved time off has an impact on the business activities of companies.
According to a labour market survey dated 2015 done by Robert Half, 90% of US CFOs expect negative effects on their business during the summer months. 33% of German finance managers expect orders to be processed more slowly than usual, simply because some staff are away.
Managers are also chilling at the beach, which is why 29% are worried about staff management. In addition, 23% expect production losses. There is no doubt that holidays are a right for all employees and that they also serve to maintain the work force.
Surprisingly, the trend towards working remotely has not weakened the concern of managers in recent years.
Tips for a stress-free holiday:
Relaxation and rest usually come with a delay. Acclimatise yourself gradually. Start the holiday with a few ‘buffer days’. A day or two at home to pack and make final preparations helps to reduce the stress of departure and makes it easier to start the holiday.
During your last days at work, take time to prepare for your absence. Write a transmission to your colleagues, delegate tasks and set up an absence note in your email program.
Give up using your mobile phone as much as possible during your holiday. Use a private mobile phone and leave your hotel phone number with your family and company. This increases the inhibition of your colleagues to call you for trifles.
Avoid the stress of leisure time during the holidays. Don’t set yourself too many goals. You decide how many peaks to climb, how many monuments to visit or how much sunshine you want to enjoy.
Take stock of your situation. Are you feeling well-rested? After the holiday, take a hard look at the bad habits that have set in. Set your first day of work for Wednesday or Thursday with the prospect of a weekend off. And start slowly.
But “our company can’t afford to stop important projects over the holiday period”, as an executive from an EPC company in the energy sector told me.
To keep the loss of productivity to a minimum, we recommend that HR hire temporary staff. However, this is not done in a hurry just before the holidays: plan these contracts by creating a ‘pool’ of temporary staff that you get to know. The same freelancer who comes in regularly is in many sectors a much better solution than temporary staff. A company study has shown that in the case of ad hoc temporary work, not only is there a loss of production in certain sectors, such as EPC, but the colleagues who are left behind also work a lot of overtime.
About eight hours of overtime per week are generated when employees have to replace their colleagues on holiday. Half of them even give up their lunch break to cope with the extra work.
But ‘recurring’ freelancing is not the solution for everything. We also recommend that an employee going on holiday has clarified all deadlines and appointments for this period with colleagues, management and other stakeholders. With good preparation and clear agreements, the (extra) workload can be better managed.
Have a great time off…. and let’s be honest: it is amazing how much stuff we get done the day before vacation!