By Kerrin Miller
August is a holiday month for many of the teams we work with around the world. It is a time to rest, relax and reconnect with family and friends. Whilst regular, daily ways to recover are essential for any team’s health; extended time away from work - as team members take a holiday - is important for physical and psychological wellbeing.
Research has repeatedly shown the link between holidays – days and weeks away from work – and benefits to physical health. Time off and away from work reduces cortisol and buffers against stress. It reduces the risk of heart disease and increases both life satisfaction and productivity. A study by the Boston Consulting Group showed that tasks are experienced as less effortful after taking a holiday.
Holidays provide the opportunity for spending time autonomously, doing things that are meaningful, and investing in relationships with family and friends who matter. Particularly if travelling to unfamiliar places – holidays provide the opportunity to build insight and empathy, as we experience uncertainty and the unknown. This time away allows a change of routine, a shift in pace, and often an experience of new spaces which creates a shift in perspective. Seeing different things often helps us to see things differently. Time off also ignites creativity.
As your team prepares to take their time off, here are a few guideposts:
Plan ahead. Poorly planned holiday time negates all the benefits above. Particularly given the chaos of current travel in Europe, take time to plan the logistical details of your time away.
Unplug completely. Prepare in advance who will be covering for you and what handoffs are needed to deliver on tasks whilst you are away. Similarly, prepare how you will get up to speed on your return.
Encourage all of your team – including the team leader – to take their time out. Taking time out is an important team ritual. Your team needs to build skills in managing the interdependencies of time away.
These weeks away from work add richly to the team’s productivity and ongoing health – see them as an investment into future performance. So, team – take a holiday!
At Teamery we understand the importance of rest and recovery to team performance. We would love to help your team work out how to manage their well-being so that they can be their best. Contact us here.