A little office rivalry, we think you'll agree, can be healthy. Whether you’re vying for recognition with your latest pitch or simply flaunting the quality of your al desko lunches, it’s only human to want to one-up your workmates. But if there’s one contest it’s worth opting out of entirely, it’s ‘presenteeism’: refusing to take paid leave, purely for the sake of being seen to do so.
Besides, recent thinking suggests your martyrly peers’ unwillingness to spend time reclining in the sun could be harming their career prospects. According to research published by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans in the US, employees are on average 40 per cent more productive after taking a holiday. What’s more, those who make a habit of using up their annual leave require fewer sick days and were noted to be less irritable, forgetful and less prone to symptoms of anxiety and depression.
And you don’t need to spend a month ‘finding yourself’ in Bali to cash in, either. A separate study concluded that holiday happiness peaks after just eight days; those who go away for longer experience no additional benefits to mood or relaxation. Depart on Saturday, return well rested the following Sunday, and you can consider yourself on the flight path to promotion.