The Importance of Annual Leave

The Importance of Annual Leave

It’s summer holiday season; the time of year when many of us take a break away from work.

Holiday entitlement
Babraham Institute employees are entitled to 25 working days plus bank holidays and 3 Christmas closure days.  
In our recent LIBRA staff and student survey only 54% of BI researchers either strongly agreed or agreed that they use their annual leave entitlement. Interestingly, 66% of women who answered strongly agreed or agreed, while only 36% of men felt the same.

Why is it that many of us struggle to let go and take a break? 
The way in which many of us now work means that leaving the lab or office doesn’t mean that we leave our work behind: popping into the lab to feed cells before heading off to the beach; checking emails on our phone or laptop by the pool; skyping from the hotel en suite bathroom. It’s hard to avoid checking the inbox to ensure nothing important has come in or that there won’t be too much to do when we return. Some of us feel more comfortable when we are working. However the benefits of changing our daily routine and shutting off from work can be great both personally and professionally.

How important is annual leave? 
We all experience some stress in our lives, whether that is stress that we feel from work, from our personal lives or from the constant juggle of both. Following the same routine day in day out can lead to tiredness and boredom. Holidays break this cycle, whether it’s a few days at home or a trip abroad; holidays rejuvenate, relax and recharge us. They allow us to feel better about ourselves, spend time with our families, form happy memories for the future and increase our productivity upon our return to work.
Research from the Family Holiday Association, a charity that helps families struggling financially to have a break shows that 91% of the families they have helped had reduced stress and worries after their break and 90% got on better as a family. The benefits last much longer than the break itself (www.familyholidayassociation.org.uk).
 
What are your favourite holiday memories from this year?

I’ve relaxed and had fun with my family, I spent quality time with them without looking at the time’
Cris Cruz, Post Doc, Epigenetics.

‘I’ve enjoyed spending time with my family and getting outdoors’
Michael Wakelam, Institute Director

The pure excitement our 5 year old and 3 year old experienced sleeping in a tent after roasting and enjoying marshmallows by the campfire’
Laura Norton, equality4success Manager

‘Singing along to the Gruffalo song in the car. We bought some audio CDs to see us through the long drive to Cornwall and back. Our three year old daughter is now word perfect!’
Louisa Wood, Communications Manager.