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It seems like the entirety of Australia is currently in Europe, and if your office seems a little emptier, or your Teams and Zoom calls are a little smaller, you’re not alone. Travel to Europe this year has already outpaced demand levels from 2019, and airfares are the highest they’ve been in 5 years.
With travel back in full swing and people wanting to make up for lost time from the last few years, they are more than willing to cash in their annual leave. As an employer, it is important to recognise the importance of your employees taking leave and the benefits that come with it, but what happens when it’s all at once, during a project or at the same time as everyone else?
Benefits of taking leave
There is a reason why employees have accrued all this leave – it’s because they deserve it. They have worked enough hours to have built up the annual leave that is sitting in their bank. Australia has mandated 4 weeks of annual leave for full-time workers, recognising that a healthy balance between work and leisure is necessary to maintain productivity and wellbeing.
Regular breaks from work can actually boost productivity in the long run. When employees take time off to relax and recharge, they often return to work with increased focus, creativity, and problem-solving abilities.
Prevention of burnout
Overworked employees are at risk of burnout, which can have serious negative effects on physical and mental health. Taking regular breaks through annual leave helps prevent burnout and contributes to overall well-being.
Encouraging employees to take regular annual leave can actually lead to lower rates of unscheduled absenteeism. When employees have the chance to take planned breaks, they are less likely to call in sick due to exhaustion or stress.
Annual leave can be used to pursue personal development activities, such as taking courses, attending workshops, or working on hobbies. This can contribute to skill expansion and strengthening, as well as personal growth.
What to do when your team is on leave
Although employees are entitled to leave, they also typically need to provide notice for this leave. This notice period is time for you to get contractors in.
If you are stuck in a situation where a project needs to continue with a specific skill set, headcount needs to remain at a minimum, or demand is about to pick up, contracting is an increasingly popular option to keep things moving and reduce stress for the remaining team.
We have learned to adapt to a fast-changing world in the last few years, with supply and demand in the jobs market taking dramatic turns in short periods of time. This has led to the rise of the contractor as a popular choice for both employers and employees. The increased flexibility that comes with contracting can be leveraged to remain adaptable within an ever-changing market. When it seems that half the company is soaking up sun in Europe, contractors are there to step in.
Won’t that take too long?
At Ambition, we take up to between 24 and 48 hours from the time of briefing to turn around a shortlist when looking at sourcing a contractor. As well as this, we typically take 5 business days to fill a contract role.
Contractors are the ultimate source of flexibility when it comes to headcount. They’re quick to hire, and often specialised enough to slot right in and pick up the work with minimal briefing and training.
Other uses for contracting
Annual leave isn’t the only reason why extra resourcing is considered. A volatile workload is another major reason why contracting is useful. Whether it be end of financial year, special projects, or unprecedented demand, people with the required skills can come in to take on the extra workload. Just as well as that, the amount of time they are there for can be tailored to the business needs, as opposed to considering permanent hires, which takes much more time and resourcing.
You can read more about the benefits of contract hire here.
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