Wish you weren’t here! The importance of holidays away from the building site – and computer

How many hours have you invested in your business this year already? In just one day this week we’ve heard from two builders who have been getting up at around 4am to get paperwork done before putting in a full shift on site. And we regularly receive emails from builders in the early hours of the morning.

You at least need a holiday (how to reduce your working hours is another article!). Whether its two weeks in the sunshine or a few days at home, it’s so important to take a break. The benefits post-holiday are many:

  • Increased productivity
  • Improved motivation
  • Improved mood
  • Lower levels of stress
  • Reduced sickness

Melissa Compton-Edwards, author of the report ‘Married to the Job’ talks about the negative impact of not taking a holiday. “What should not be overlooked is that excessive hours can have a negative effect on job performance and cause costly or reputation-damaging mistakes. Fatigue-related accidents are potentially life-threatening.”

She wasn’t writing specifically for construction but with the high proportion of accidents and mental health-related illnesses recorded by the HSE for the sector, it’s very relevant.

Stagger your time off

Work and organisational psychologist Jessica de Bloom recommends that you spread your annual leave. “Avoid ‘binge vacationing’ – taking only one long holiday per year. Vacation benefits wash out fast, irrespective of the holiday duration. Moreover, it may be risky to put all eggs in one basket and hope for the perfect holiday. By planning regular long weekends and short vacations, you can achieve a healthy work–life balance in order to feel vital all year round.”

So whatever the length of your break you should return refocused and re-energised.

And if you upload your plans to the HBXL Estimating Service beforehand in order to produce your quotes in your absence, you’ll also return happy at the prospect of some new business wins!

Of course if you just cannot take a holiday then time out during the working day is a must. We’re only thinking of your wellbeing!