Resource Centre Life At Work When Is The Right Time To Take An Annual Leave?

When Is The Right Time To Take An Annual Leave?

Time for some rest and relaxation Your annual leave is a time to get off work for rest and recuperation. So let’s get this straight. Taking leave does not mean that you are lazy. In fact, giving yourself time to recuperate makes you more productive and happier. In some cases people do not take leave […]

Annual leave

Time for some rest and relaxation

Your annual leave is a time to get off work for rest and recuperation. So let’s get this straight. Taking leave does not mean that you are lazy. In fact, giving yourself time to recuperate makes you more productive and happier. In some cases people do not take leave at all. Some have accumulated so many leave days that they can almost take leave for a whole year. This results in being forced to take leave and this is not a healthy practice.

According to the labour laws of Kenya, employees are entitled to at least 21 days of paid annual leave if you have worked for an employer for 12 months on a permanent or contract basis.Some employers allow their employees to take all their leave days at once while others allow employees to take leave on a progressive basis.

So, what are the benefits of taking your annual leave?

Rest and relaxation

  • It makes you more productive and inspired

This is obvious but what most people don’t know is that taking leave gives you time to unwind. By the time you come back to work, you will be able to get more done, with maximum efficiency as you will be less stressed. You will be more motivated to clear your inbox and your creativity will be top notch.

  • You will need less sick off days

Your body can only handle so much after which it starts sending you signs of distress. If you find yourself having regular health issues, then you need to take less medication and take leave instead. Relaxation rejuvenates your body and you will fall sick less often.

  • You get to reconnect with family and friends

Stay connected

You probably have a few evenings and weekends to bond with your family and friends because your job is very demanding. Well, you can create time for these important social interactions by taking an annual leave during which time you get to devote more time to your family and friends.

  • You will feel less fatigued and less stressed

The reason why Monday mornings are the worst days for you is because you are probably stressed out and fatigued. As much as you have the weekend to relax, you probably have so much to do at that time that you do not really rest. With time, the stress accumulates and your energy levels fall. If you want your mornings to be easier and less stressful, you need to take leave.

  • You will become a better planner

Of course, for you to take leave, you need to to know who will do your job while you are away so that there is continuity and you are not faced with work backlog once you come back. Therefore, taking leave teaches you how to plan ahead and do so efficiently.

When is the right time to take leave?

Going for leave

There is no perfect time to take leave. However, if you are the kind of people who find it hard to actually take leave, then here are signs that you really need some time off.

  • When you start becoming irritable

Irritability can be a sign of fatigue and stress. If you find yourself snapping at colleagues and clients for no good reason, then it means that you have hit your threshold. Strain and stress often spill over into your work and relationships and it is important to take some time to cool off.

  • When you find yourself falling sick often

Falling sick is quite normal. However, if you find yourself having regular aches and pains and falling sick all the time or generally feeling lethargic, then take that as a sign of stress and fatigue. To ease the pain and restore your health, take that annual leave you have been ignoring.

  • When your enthusiasm and creativity dip

When you are always chasing deadlines and finishing up on important projects, it can be hard to come up with fresh ideas as you are less inspired. Additionally, if work seems routine, tiresome and boring, then it means that your energy levels are low and you are drained. Therefore, you need to take some time off to relax and get your groove back on.

  • You are not sleeping well

Stress and tension often result in sleeplessness as you are not relaxed. It can be hard to have a good night’s sleep when you are constantly thinking about that important meeting or presentation at work. If your sleeping pattern is erratic and you are always tired, it means that you need to take some time off and stop worrying about emails and meetings.

  • You are stressed and get regular burnouts

You constantly feel like the world is against you and you can never seem to actually get all the work done without feeling pressured. Well, these are signs of your body giving in to the stress and You do need to take a rest.

So now you know why and when to take your annual leave of office, how do you make the most out of it?

  • Plan ahead

Proper planning

For you to enjoy your leave to the maximum, you need to have a good plan of how you will do it. Schedule your time well according to your projects and take leave when it is convenient for you and your job will not suffer. This also means that you have to make sure that your projects are completed or you have a good handover plan. If you go on leave and leave your duties unattended to, you are likely not to enjoy yourself and by the time you come back, you will find a mountain of work waiting for you. Additionally, if you do not hand over your duties properly, you are likely to get regular phone calls from work, which means that you will still be working.

  • Slow down

Modern life is very busy and demanding. You always seem to be rushing somewhere and your life seems like one huge dash. Well, the whole point of going on leave is to slow down and relax, so do just that. Sleep more, exercise more, rest more, eat well, and just unwind. You will be happier, healthier and more productive for it.

  • Unplug while you are away


With the rise of technology, you are likely to still be within reach even when on vacation. Some people even have the bad habit of checking their emails on a regular basis, which means that they are simply working remotely. If you must keep touching base occasionally, create time during which you will be checking your emails for the most pressing matters and taking care of them. Otherwise, everything else can wait.

Taking your annual leave is important. Although many people forego it for one reason or another, its benefits eventually show up at your review. For starters, taking leave helps you relax and rejuvenate, which increases your productivity, makes you more creative and gives you time to bond with your family. If you find yourself getting irritable at work, falling behind deadlines, not sleeping well, and being stressed out all the time, then take this as a sign from your body that you need to recharge.


Njeri Karanja
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