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Don’t succumb to guilt: Take a well-earned break



Taking a well-earned break from work in order to recharge your batteries improves your mental health and workplace productivity, however many professionals find it difficult to switch off or succumb to guilt by limiting their time away from the office, says recruiting experts Hays in Malaysia.

In his latest LinkedIn Influencer blog Alistair Cox, Hays’ CEO, says that spending time away from your place of work isn’t something to feel guilty about.

“The advancement of mobile technology in the past decade means the office is never too far away, leaving many to feel as though they should always be available,” says Alistair. “Employees often feel that they must be perceived as being ‘always on’ to show they are dedicated and working hard. This is nonsense, and in fact reduces development and productivity.

“Employees must be actively encouraged to take time off and it is up to businesses to create a holiday friendly environment so that people can relax, recharge and enjoy their time off without checking emails several times a day.”

Alistair says there are real business benefits to be gained for an employer too. “Creating an environment where staff are encouraged to take proper holiday breaks and really switch off improves the overall atmosphere of a workplace,” he said.

“It makes for a happier, healthier workforce, and has a positive impact on boosting productivity in a team. In addition, creating a workplace culture where employees are encouraged to take their holiday entitlements is increasingly important in attracting and retaining the best talent.

“If employers need more convincing, ensuring that employees do not suffer from fatigue impacts positively on the bottom line. So investing in employee well-being makes sense.

“And there is no exception to the rule, however senior you are,” says Alistair.

According to Hays there are a number of ways employers can encourage employees to take regular holiday entitlements:

• Create a guilt-free zone: Eliminating that cloud of guilt that some people feel about taking holidays is essential. There may never feel like a ‘good’ time to take a holiday but it’s crucial to all employees’ well-being.
• Prescribe a digital detox: Although it can be difficult to resist checking emails while away from the office, employees should be encouraged not to log on. If it is necessary to check emails, a process should be put in place as to how the employee is to be contacted and an immediate response should not be expected.
• Take an interest: Taking a genuine interest in what a colleague has done on holiday can improve morale and create closer ties with that person upon their return to work.
• Lead by example: If employees see the CEO or senior management taking time off to relax, it sets the right example for the rest of the business.

Hays is located in Kuala Lumpur at Suite 4 & 5, Level 23, Menara 3, Petronas, Kuala Lumpur City Centre. Phone +60 3 2786 8600 or email

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

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For further information please contact Lucy Sharp, Regional Head of Marketing at Hays, on +61 2 8226 9885 or


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