A rest is as good as a change


A recent survey of managers reveals that many return to work after holiday more stressed than before they went. So what are the benefits of switching off for a couple of weeks?

According to a recent survey of almost 2,500 managers by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) four in 10 return to work from holiday feeling more stressed than when they left. Technology, while offering many benefits, also seems to be the main cause, writes Hilary Jeanes of PurpleLine Consulting.

Why do employers offer holidays as part of their contractual terms? The obvious answer is that they have to – it’s a legal requirement. But a less apparent answer is because they recognise the importance and value of time away from the workplace. That old adage – all work and no play makes Jill a dull girl – is true.

It appears that people find it difficult to switch off on holiday. Worse, that many people still do not take all the holidays they are entitled to. Are they the indispensable people holding the fort whilst others go off and enjoy themselves in the sunshine? Probably not – just those who haven’t yet seen the many benefits of relaxing, having fun or just plain doing something different.

So what are the benefits?

  • Time to switch off from your routine day to day activities
  • An opportunity to recharge your batteries
  • New experiences and horizons which give us new information and insights
  • Time with friends, family or all on our own, depending on our circumstances and preferences, can remind us of what is important to us
  • A chance to revisit our life and work goals. Is what we are doing helping us to achieve them, or perhaps the reverse….?

The cliché – a change is as good as a rest – made me think about our resistance to change. If we recognise that change is good, what stops us from seeing it in a positive light? Probably if change is imposed rather than something we choose to do ourselves. Which is why holidays and time away from regular activities often prompts us to make those big changes in our lives like a new house, a new job or a new partner.

What will it be for you? Will you be sitting at the same desk doing the same thing this time next year? Imagine you are. How will you feel about that? Whether you decide to make changes on return from this year’s break, make sure they fit with who you are and what matters to you.

And most importantly, to get maximum benefit from your holiday, leave the Blackberry at home or steer clear of your work email inbox until you get back to work!

Hilary Jeanes is Director of PurpleLine Consulting
http://PurpleLineConsulting.co.uk, a consultancy which offers organisations support to achieve the potential of their people

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Hilary Jeanes (trading as PurpleLine Consulting Limited)