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Some 41% of managers in the UK didn’t take the annual leave that they were owed last year, according to a survey carried out by the Institute of Leadership & Management.
This was despite the fact that that almost a third (30%) of those people entirely lost those holiday days with over a third (35%) of these people – almost one in 20 (4%) of those surveyed overall – losing five days or more.
Charles Elvin CEO of the Institute of Leadership & Management, said: “Holidays are vitally important for maintaining a happy, healthy workforce so it’s a concern to hear one in 20 managers telling us that they lost a week or more of their annual leave allowance last year. Workers come back from leave refreshed, relaxed and revitalised which is ultimately great for business, so it should be a top priority for employers to make sure their employees use it rather than lose it.”
The same survey revealed that 40% of managers felt there was definite room for improvement in their work / life balance, with a further 15% stating theirs was poor.
While the majority of workers (63%) said that their boss was largely supportive of them achieving a good work/life balance, one in five (19%) said that their boss was not as supportive in this area as they would like and 15% said that they did not feel their boss was supportive of them achieving a good work/life balance.
Elvin added: “We know that work life balance has a direct impact on performance. It’s important that workers feel they have time to switch off and a holiday is a big part of that. Managers have an important role to play in ensuring workers take the leave they are entitled to, so this summer I’m urging them to look at what hasn’t been taken and encourage their teams to take it.”
In 2013 managers told ILM that even when they were taking holidays they weren’t necessarily relaxing. Over half of managers (54%) felt the need to work while on annual leave, with 70% stating that they were reading and responding to emails whilst on holiday.
Elvin said: “Smartphones are amazing and have revolutionised the way we work, but they do have some unanticipated side effects. Managers are telling us they are finding it increasingly difficult to just switch off and leave the office behind but it’s really important that they switch off and make the most of their time off work to fully relax, reflect and unwind and return to the office with renewed energy, fresh ideas and perspective.”