Why going on holiday is good for business


July 02, 2014

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Research has shown that going on holiday not only makes you feel good while you’re away but helps you feel better for weeks, sometimes even months afterwards.

But how many of us have taken heed of the advice from the Holiday Health Experiment (HHE) reported  in 2013 by tour operator Kuoni and Nuffield Health which urged workers to always take their full holiday entitlement each year? It appears that as many as one in three of us don’t use all our holidays – we are ‘too busy’, fear missing out, worry we are not going to achieve targets or maybe we’re saving them for an emergency that never happens. Whatever the reasoning, jetting off has been clinically shown to cut blood pressure, help us sleep better and bounce back from stress, so the benefits shouldn’t be ignored.

But it’s not just about getting away; it’s about completely switching off.  Years ago it was technologically impossible to keep in touch on a beach. Now, it’s the norm with emails, text messages and social media with us wherever we go.

But only if we choose to have it that way. As tempting as it is to always have one eye on the business, we are risking our health and wellbeing and thereby our ability to perform well at work if we don’t take a proper break.

In the HHE study, one group holidayed in relaxing destinations as compared to another group who stayed at home and carried on working.  The results were startling. The average blood pressure of those on holiday dropped by six per cent while the workers saw theirs rise by two per cent over the same period. The sleep quality of those on holiday improved by 17 per cent; while those still working saw theirs deteriorate by 14 per cent.  The study also found that those on holiday improved their resilience to stress by 29 per cent, with the break reducing their blood sugar levels and improving their mood and energy levels.

So, the benefits of a complete ‘switch off’ break are clear but we are still surrounded by evidence of workers, and business owners in particular, struggling to wind down. 

Earlier this year, Alexander Ehmann, deputy director of policy at the Institute of Directors said: “You won’t be able to stop people checking their BlackBerry from the beach, and it may be necessary to have senior staff contactable in emergencies, but we’d call on businesses to use their common sense and help workers relax when on leave.”

Part of being able to switch off is ensuring your business is covered while you’re away. Holidays are always a challenge, whether it be for smaller businesses anxious about staying in control or for larger businesses juggling staffing levels. In a fast-moving 24/7 world it can be difficult to let go, but with the technologies and services available today there is no reason why business owners or managers should not be able to relax and enjoy their holidays.

Here at Moneypenny we have already seen a 26 per cent rise (as compared to last year) in the numbers of businesses requesting temporary telephone answering cover for the forthcoming holiday periods, so fingers crossed that is a sign that businesses are now switching on to the benefits of switching off; knowing their business is in good hands.  Happier and healthier workers make for greater, more creative productivity so let’s not forget that regular, restful holidays are the best tonic for you and your business.