Getting Your Business Ready for Summer Holidays
Summer is the signal for millions of us to head off on holiday. However, many business owners find it hard to take a well-earned break, while they may also worry about the impact of staff annual leave. As providers of office work space near Colchester, at The Gattinetts we know all about the challenges facing small companies. Here, we look at some ways to prepare for holidays, helping to ensure time away leaves you and your staff feeling refreshed, rather than stressed.
Getting Away from the Desk – and the Work Emails
Worryingly, a number of surveys have shown that many business owners in the UK don’t take a break at all. Research carried out by software company Sage revealed over 30% of entrepreneurs don’t take a summer holiday – and, even if they do, it’s unlikely they will head off for a whole two weeks.
Self-employed people and sole traders may be especially reluctant to leave the workplace behind, because they aren’t entitled to paid holidays and may fear losing customers. However, there is plenty of evidence that failing to switch off and working all through the year can lead to burnout and other health problems.
Too often, those business owners who do leave the office behind end up worrying about the workplace while they should be basking in the sun. Unfortunately, while checking emails and phoning clients from the beach might make you look keen, it guarantees you won’t get a proper break. Even if you don’t feel you can ignore work messages altogether, it’s a good idea to restrict the times when you do this. Some business people say that just checking emails once or twice a day reassures them everything is going well and means they can feel more relaxed the rest of the time.
Where possible, it could make holidays less stressful if you can take them at a quieter time for your business. Arranging cover can also reduce worries about what is happening back in the office. If you are a one-man or one-woman band, it may be helpful to arrange for another sole trader to cover for you, with you doing the same for them in turn, but this kind of arrangement will obviously only work where there is mutual trust.
Coping with Staff Holidays
As well as worrying about their own holidays, entrepreneurs can find it hard to cope with their staff heading off for a long break. If you have a micro-business with a small staff, even one person being away can make you feel stretched – and this is even more so where two people are off at once.
So how can businesses cope with the challenge of absent staff and work to minimise any adverse effect? If certain times of the year are much busier for your company or organisation than others, then you may want to restrict holidays during those periods. You can also make it clear that all holiday requests need to be approved.
Avoiding holiday clashes as far as possible can be very helpful, for instance by encouraging staff to book time off well in advance and to spread their holiday entitlement through the year. Booking ahead will also give time for cover to be arranged and projects to be handed over between different team members if necessary.
However, all this is a question of balancing the company’s needs against those of individuals, and compromises may sometimes be needed. In practice it could be difficult, for instance, for a manager to rule that a parent can’t have their main leave during school holidays.
As well as taking time out for a holiday, it’s also important for business owners and staff to take regular breaks during the working week. A big advantage of working in a rural area during summer, such as The Gattinetts’ office workspace near Colchester, is that you can relax and enjoy the open air at lunchtime, getting a chance to recharge your batteries.
If you are interested in office work space close to Colchester, follow the link above to find out more about our range of offices to let near Dedham, East Bergholt and Hadleigh.