Easter holiday: Employees want extra time off? Let them!

HRDs explain why an extended Easter can work wonders for your staff

Easter holiday: Employees want extra time off? Let them!

Only three months have passed since the Christmas break, and many employees are already experiencing burnout. Exhaustion and fatigue are rife, despite being less than halfway into the year.

Why? Because 2020 was a mentally draining time. The uncertainty, anxiety and frustration at what was happening around the globe left us feeling more exhausted than ever. And despite a break over Christmas and New Year, many are still feeling the hangover of 2020.

For most workers, the four-day break will offer a welcome relief but is now the time to encourage your employees to take more time off? Alex Hattingh, chief people officer at Employment Hero, thinks so.

“In any given year, it’s a good opportunity to switch off for more than a couple of days but this year, the time off could come at a critical point for some,” she told HRD.

“The past year has required a lot of us to adapt to change – whether it’s a change in our working environment, our day-to-day schedules, or our roles. These changes are also ever-evolving and the instability this brings about can take a huge toll on our wellbeing, which is why this year’s Easter break is, perhaps, more important than ever.”

Read more: Coronavirus: Singapore's healthcare workers forced to cancel holiday plans

She encouraged HRDs to communicate this sentiment with leaders and to make sure they are approving leave requests wherever possible. Many employees are hoping to tack on additional days to maximise the double public holiday and it’s likely stakeholders, customers and other outside partners will be enjoying an extended break too.

Julia Poloai, head of culture and talent at Clipchamp, said it’s also a good time to make the most of the current freedoms, especially after many Christmas plans were derailed due to the Covid outbreak.

“In the lead up to this year’s Easter long weekend, we’re finally coming to a point in Australia where the public health situation is relatively stable across the country and it’s giving us the freedom to reconnect with our family and friends – most importantly without anxiety,” she said.

“I think for this reason, it’s important to encourage your teams to take the time to switch off and reinvigorate their spirits around family, friends or even solo – if that’s what they need.”

Read more: 'Time off tax': 49% of Canadians work extra hours to cover holidays

As the public holiday approaches, Poloai said all HRDs should remind employees and people leaders about the value of switching off. Communicate the wealth of benefits from stepping away from the office, even during a busy period. With many people working from home, it’s even more important to switch off any work notifications to really create that boundary between home and the office.

She urged employees to be open and honest if they’re feeling overwhelmed about their workload ahead of the holiday.

“It’s crucial to have conversations about workloads and any pending deadlines as early as possible with your managers and teams,” she said. “If responsibilities are well managed before you clock off for the holidays, there should be no reason to stress about work during your time off.”

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