How to balance annual leave and burnout

Regardless of whether you’re flying abroad for a sunny beach holiday or simply curling up with a good book at home, taking time off to rest and relax is vital to staying happy and healthy. It helps to refresh the mind, boost overall wellbeing and reduce the risk of burnout.

Because burnout, a work-related stress syndrome, has become so common (79% of UK employees experience it), we’re looking into the importance of balancing and using annual leave, for both employees and employers.

Common causes of burnout

  • Exhaustion – A study by the Trades Union Congress found that 61% of workers felt exhausted at the end of the working day.
  • Unmanageable workload – 55% of workers have reported that their work had become more intense and demanding.
  • Feeling unsupported – According to The Workplace Health Report, 29% of UK employees have identified a lack of support as a cause of stress at work.

Symptoms of burnout

  • Feeling hopeless
  • Having less patience than normal
  • Frequently phoning in sick
  • Feeling unable to cope with work
  • Feeling physically and emotionally exhausted a lot of the time
  • Lacking in motivation to go to work or do the job
  • Drop in performance
  • Difficulty concentrating or carrying out normal tasks

HR Planner helps businesses prevent burnout

Balance annual leave

While full-time employees in the UK are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ annual leave each year, not everyone takes all their days. In fact, a survey by Timetastic found that less than 40% of UK adults used all of their allowance in 2022 and 2023.

A simple thing like encouraging regular time off, to relax and maintain a good work-life balance, can help prevent employees from reaching burnout.

HR Planner makes it easy to remind staff to use their holiday. You can take advantage of our customisable widgets to review how much annual leave has been taken, and how much is still left to take, to make sure staff have regular time off throughout the year.

Arrange cover

One of the reasons employees can be reluctant to book time off is there is no one to cover their workload. This either puts their colleagues under more pressure, or piles the work on for their return, both having the opposite effect of reducing stress by taking time off.

HR Planner’s low cover protection feature makes it easy to ensure there’s ample employees working on any given day, ensuring cover will be available for those that are on leave. The customisable tool means you can define how many people of a specific job title, or in a particular department, need to be working.

Flexible working

HR Planner’s working patterns make it easy for you to arrange part-time or flexible working hours, helping to ensure your business has the right staffing levels. This prevents shortages and can support employees to aim for a better work-life balance.

Reduce HR workload

With all of your HR obligations in one place, HR Planner can help to reduce heavy workloads and unnecessary admin. There’s no need for spreadsheets or repetitive data entry – employees can enter their own information and request holidays at just the click of a button – freeing up time to focus on more important tasks.

Support employees

HR Planner’s documentation module is a great way to publish self-help and wellbeing articles and resources for staff to access 24/7. Storage is unlimited, so you can add as much as you like!

Enhanced reputation

Companies with flexible working policies are often perceived positively by customers, investors and the wider community, enhancing their reputation as progressive and forward-thinking organisations.

Try HR Planner today with a free 14 day trial. No credit card or commitment required. For more information on the latest features, call our expert team on 01252 63 60 70 or email