We recently ran a LinkedIn survey of 100 people, asking about their holiday plans now that (in the UK at least), lockdown has been lifted to the degree that employees will be seriously considering taking vacations at home or abroad. The results were as follows:

 

The majority of people – almost two thirds – are keen to take holiday now that restrictions on movement are easing to an extent. While 1 in 10 were still uncertain as to their plans, 29% perhaps surprised us a little and said a firm ‘No’; they’re not looking to take any holiday for the rest of the year.

How do HR departments and team managers need to respond to each of these groups?

Holiday hopefuls: for the majority, the main issue is one that a lot of businesses across the UK are waking up to, i.e. making sure everyone doesn’t go on holiday at the same time. That paper rota you used to rely on? It’s not going to cut the mustard in the face of such disruption. Businesses need a robust online system in place to make sure that they have full visibility of planned absence across their teams. In what can become an emotive issue, you need to be supported by your HR system to explain the whens and whys of holiday availability to your staff.

The hedgers: HRs need to make sure that they have proper processes in place to help their team make decisions on holiday rather than prevaricating for too long. Putting targets in place for staff to have taken a certain amount of leave by a certain date is an increasingly common method. Ultimately, uncertainty can lead to unforeseen consequences, which businesses can ill-afford right now.

The burnout risks: if nearly one in three employees are still planning on saving up holiday, businesses are faced with a workforce at serious risk of burnout. Many people won’t have had a proper break since the start of the year. Summer holidays have been canned for the most part, and people are often unwilling to ‘waste’ holiday by taking it when they can only stay at home or visit the very near surrounding areas. However, by working constantly for months on end, people are risking harming their mental wellbeing, and businesses can’t sit back and do nothing. And if your staff have been furloughed for three months, they may be more likely to want to ‘save’ holiday, rolling over their entitlement to 2021. This is also potentially risky in terms of financial liability and the cost of holiday debt.

Have wellness materials in place which employees can be pointed towards, make sure that line managers are checking their reports are taking proper breaks, and ensure that you’re building in as much flexibility as you can to your business in terms of working hours.

Times are strange, but this means planning and employee wellbeing is more important than ever. Tracking these areas in real-time will give you a better view of how your employees are faring as well as ensuring you’ve got the right resources at hand, whatever their holiday plans in a post-lockdown world.


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