Christmas is almost upon us, giving the nation a precious few days away from the 9-5 to relax and enjoy the festivities. But in a trend that is by now quite synonymous with the season, no sooner have we unwrapped our last Christmas present, so starts the deluge of ads encouraging us to book next year’s summer holiday – or jet off for a dose of ‘winter sun’ – and give ourselves something else to look forward to.
Even with all of that advertising influence, according to a recent survey 83.3% of us in the UK will not have taken our full leave entitlement for 2018. Furthermore, previous research by British Airways found that a third of UK workers were losing up to four days a year and that nearly three quarters (69%) were not taking a two-week holiday.
So what does that mean for employers?
Whilst a decision to take holiday is down to an individual, company culture can often influence an employee’s decision. As employers we have a responsibility and obligation to support and maintain employee wellbeing and encourage a positive work/life balance. Unused holiday days can trigger problems further down the line with the risk of incidences of fatigue or burnout increasing for employers if their teams don’t take the time away that they should.
Holidays are more than time away from work, they’re often the very reason people go to work. People should feel empowered to take their holiday, and good employers encourage their employees to take time off - and to make the most of it when they do.
So where do employee benefits come in? The packages offered by a business very much amplify and underline their culture and values; encouraging personal development, welfare and taking and making the most of time away from the office.
Many companies do include travel benefits such as insurance, lounge access or airport parking as part of their reward schemes. While convenient, such benefits are not particularly unique or special enough to inspire an employee to physically takemore trips in order to ‘sweat’ that particular benefit.
In a survey we conducted last year 95% of people told us an upgrade was the thing that they would value most when travelling. We work with companies of all sizes to help them make this a reality for their most valuable employees - providing unlimited access to offers on flight and hotel upgrades through their rewards package.
Providing a travel related benefit that actively rewards the taking of holiday and encourages repeated redemption shows your employees that you are prepared to pay more than lip service to the importance of taking holiday by investing in rewards that will contribute to a better work-life balance.
Employees who feel empowered and valued are ultimately productive and by showing your most valuable employees that you are prepared to invest in their time away from the workplace, you can both reap the rewards when it comes to their contentment and productivity for the days that they are in it.