By Chris Breaux 

The post is sponsored by Cezanne HR.

It might seem counterintuitive to encourage your employees to use up their holiday time but in fact, taking time off has been proven to increase productivity.

If you ask any candidate about their biggest flaw, the likelihood is that they’ll say they work too much and chances are, they’re telling the truth. But when we work too hard or for too long a period without a break, our productivity actually slows down which is harmful to the individual, the business and the culture of the company overall.

The Benefits of Rest

It’s not as though managers don’t realise the emotional perks of giving employees time off – in fact, studies have shown that it results in better employee motivation and an increase in productivity when staff return from their holidays. But despite this, there’s still an illusion that more work results in greater productivity.

HR professionals should lead the way in encouraging people to use their holiday and online HR software can be a great tool for this, sending notifications and reminders to staff to use their time off.

Greater Energy Devoted to Tasks

Good leadership includes ensuring that staff take time to rest and recuperate when they’ve been working for too long, whether that means taking a mid-afternoon coffee break, a longer lunch or encouraging them to use up some of their annual leave to give themselves some time off.

Research suggests that staff perform their duties much more efficiently and with more energy when they’ve had some time away from their desks, so it’s beneficial to the team and the business overall when more breaks are provided.

Better Work Culture

A strong work-life balance is at the top of many people’s wish list when it comes to finding somewhere to work, so it’s key that companies lead by example and don’t encourage overworking. Rewards and recognition for time spent devoted to tasks provides a shift in perspective on the part of the employee and shows them that their time and dedication is valued, which encourages them to work harder.

This might mean extra days off after a long project target has been met or by providing staff with hotel credits which they can use when they take time off work. Rewarding staff for their hard work with time to rest and enjoy their downtime is a great way of building a fun and healthy company culture that will also help to retain the talent within the business.

Fosters Appreciation Within Teams

Many workers fear that taking time off work will have a negative impact on their relationships with colleagues or their manager. But when businesses not only allow holiday time but provide more breaks, it helps to foster a better balance within the team and ensures that everyone is treated with the same respect and incentives. It also sends a clear message that personal health and rest is important so that everyone feels comfortable using their annual leave without worry.