• I don’t believe anyone is important enough to feel unable to take time off. There must be people capable of cover of some sort, if only for a day.
When out of the office for sickness or holiday it is vital to “sever connections”, except for maybe a pager or mobile.
A lot of people strive 50 weeks in a year to enjoy two weeks of peace away from the office. If we don’t take time off or holiday to broaden our horizons and enjoy ourselves we will forget who we are and what we are fighting for. As the saying goes, life is too short.
• I work for a not-for-profit housing association. I have a small team providing a range of support services to 60 staff. We have 28 days leave a year and none of us have any problem taking it.
I encourage my staff to plan breaks from work and use up their leave, the end result being I have a stable, committed and fresh team.
With the right support we seem to have the right balance between work and play. It requires a bit of planning, but it can be done.
Personnel and admin manager
• My heart bleeds for HR people who are seemingly incapable of managing their own time. Does it indicate how efficient they are within their organisation?
As for HR people who feel guilty taking time off and logging on during time off to pick up and reply to e-mails, the cemeteries are full of such indispensable and immensely important people.
• A good manager should be able to go away knowing their work is looked after and others will deal with emergencies in their absence. If e-mails are burdensome, HR should act on it. If they are short-staffed, cut down on the admin burden or put a case for more staff.
HR should be leading in man management, not trying to prove that the business cannot do without them.