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News article16 September 2022European Labour Authority, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

Why you should always use your annual leave

We live in a world focused on constantly working, developing and innovating. Because of this, many people are taking less annual leave, but is this really a productive way to work? Here’s why we think you should always use your annual leave.

Why you should always use your annual leave

Reduces stress

Using your annual leave allows you to take a well-needed break from the stresses and demands of working life. Disconnecting yourself from meetings, deadlines, and other stressful situations can rejuvenate your mind, meaning you are in a healthier state when you return to work. However, stress usually returns, which is why it’s important to schedule annual leave breaks throughout the year. Taking regular mini breaks can serve as a preventative measure against issues such as depression and burnout, ensuring you are best placed to cope with the strains of an intense working period.

Increases productivity

Using your annual leave can make you more productive when you return to work. Sometimes, taking a step away from a problem allows you to gain a fresh perspective, and equips you with new and creative solutions. Research from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans suggests that using annual leave improves employee productivity by up to 40%, and reduces the risk of sick leave by 28%. So, not only is using your annual leave beneficial for you, but it is also beneficial for your employer, as it ensures they get the best, most productive version of yourself.

Reduces risk of health complications

We all have intense periods at work – deadlines that need to be met, urgent meetings that need to be scheduled, and a rapidly growing inbox of e-mails that require immediate attention. Studies have shown that working at maximum capacity for an extended period puts you at greater risk of severe health complications, such as heart attacks, heart disease and strokes. Taking annual leave is therefore essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Improves work-life balance

Dedication and work ethic are important qualities to have to succeed in your career. However, it’s easy to fall into the trap of constantly working, whether it is in the office or at home. While your job is important, it should not be your entire life. Using your annual leave can have a considerable positive impact on your work-life balance and overall mood by giving you more time to bond with your family, socialise and reconnect with friends, or go on that holiday you have always wanted to go on.

Feeling burnt out? We can help! Check out our article on how to keep a good work-life balance.

 

Related links:

Work Stress as a Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease

Feeling burnt out? We can help!

 

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Articles are intended to provide users of the EURES portal with information on current topics and trends and to stimulate discussion and debate. Their content does not necessarily reflect the view of the European Labour Authority (ELA) or the European Commission. Furthermore, EURES and ELA do not endorse third party websites mentioned above.