Convincing staff to take their annual leave shouldn’t be akin to persuading someone to visit a dentist. But for a large number of Australian workers, it almost would be.
According to a new study, one in five Aussie employees haven’t taken any annual leave in at least 12 months, with the number of unused leave days now soaring to 140 million in total*.
And while most might assume this would result in a more productive workforce, it’s actually creating more anxious workers and a less productive workforce**.
Conducted by travel site Skyscanner and workforce wellbeing platform WorkScore, the study also revealed that one in 20 Australians have quit their job due to stress from not having taken annual leave.
In addition to this, one in four (23%) workers said their quality of work decreased, nearly one in three (30%) experienced burnout and one in three (32%) admitted to higher stress levels as a result of less or no time off.
Even when they do take a break, almost half (45%) of employees feel guilty before leaving while half (50%) check their emails whilst away.
“Taking a break from work is incredibly important, especially for your mental health and wellbeing and our research reveals that while some Aussies feel their workplace or workload won’t allow them to take a break, 43% of Australians believe that a two-week trip is enough to effectively destress from work pressures,” Skyscanner travel expert Emily Cairns said.
Workplace Expert and WorkScore co-founder, Suzanne Deeming said bosses should be encouraging workers to take time off “as it improves employee productivity, morale and reduces stress”.
“Workplaces should also discourage employees from working whilst on leave and allow them to fully switch off from work,” remarked Ms Deeming.
Elsewhere, to help avoid stress:
*Roy Morgan, 2019
**Skyscanner and WorkScore Workplace Wellbeing Research, July 2019
How much of your annual leave do you use?
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