What type of holiday taker are you?

I love my job, but I absolutely love my holidays.  A fulfilled, happy and productive life is all about balance, even for self-confessed workaholics. 

And this year, it seems finding the right balance is more important than ever.  With the recent stresses of Covid and lockdowns and worrying about relatives to job market craziness, cost of living increases, instability of the UK economy and political uproar, we’ve all earned a break, whether that’s time with the family at home, enjoying long walks with the dog, or foreign adventures.

Part of this means planning and using your full holiday entitlement – at Zonal we offer a minimum of 33 days’ leave – to ensure you’re able to have a work detox and shut off to recover and recuperate.  This time out is really important and shouldn’t be underestimated as a coping mechanism.

Personally speaking, the joy of being able to travel overseas again is huge. I’ve always enjoyed travelling – the ability to actually see some sun (living in Scotland, we are subjected to months of grey, depressing skies), experience amazing food and immerse myself in different cultures have always spurred me on to take full advantage of my annual holiday entitlement.

I am also a planner.  One of my steadfast New Year resolutions, which I always achieve, is researching and setting out plans for how I’m going to use my annual leave. I really appreciate how lucky I am to have been able to travel to some amazing places all over the world – and I recommend it wholeheartedly!

Not everyone views holiday entitlement in the same manner though; some people need to be coerced to plan ahead and use up their holidays, others leave it to the last minute to try and bag a bargain.

In the HR world, we spend a lot of our time speaking to employees and line managers about the importance of planning ahead. We’re not trying to annoy you or be nosey. We’re trying to ensure everyone gets that all important break from work.

But having a holiday schedule is so important when it comes to making sure there are plenty of colleagues remaining in the business to give effective cover.  Whilst you might like to leave it to the last minute, having everyone off in December isn’t helpful or practical.

So, what type of holiday taker are you?

The ‘Workaholic’ – you appear not to want or need the break from work, you carry on oblivious and wonder why your HR department is worrying about your holiday entitlement. You get to the last few months of the year, and then think you’ll use it up in December and/or try to carry it over (for the 8th year in a row).

The ‘Judith Chalmers’ – (please excuse the reference to an 80’s TV personality) You love to travel and plan ahead. You book holidays ahead of time and put lots of effort into your research of the best places to stay, visit and eat. Your allocation is all booked in by the end of the first quarter and you know what you’re doing for each break well in advance.

The ‘last minute.comer’ – you leave it to the last minute, booking a holiday at the last second so you can snap up that all important deal/bargain.

The ‘Big Eventer’ – you only book time off for special occasions – weddings, big birthdays, once in a lifetime trips – go big or go without. Let’s keep the holidays for something really amazing and then try to use it all up in one go.

The ‘School Holidayer’ – you go by school holidays, once you have those dates, you book them all in, then worry about where and what you’ll do to entertain the kids.

The ‘Dreamer’ – you have so many lists of places to go and people to see, the list is endless, but you worry as to how can you possibly fit it all in. You buy a lottery ticket twice a week just in case.

The ‘Victor Meldrew’ – you can’t understand all the fuss, you want to be left alone and working at your own pace. You don’t see why there’s so much interest in your schedule or plans. You will get around to making plans at some point this year…

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Picture of Catriona Dick

Catriona Dick

Head of Human Resources