How to cope if you didn’t book annual leave this spring

Hannah Sims · 28 Apr

The canny, the rapid and the downright cheekiest people in your workplace may have read our article on how to spend your annual leave.

They will have calculated that you need only take off nine of your precious days in order to reap a monster 18 days of holiday time, due to the fortuitous alignment of bank holiday weekends and Easter breaks that are sprinkled through April and May.

Your newsfeed fills with photos of people on holiday and if you're reading this, you probably aren't one of them (but just in case: shout out to our readers in Southern European spa hotels!) Perhaps your company has a spate of leavers after bonus season, or perhaps employees are off recovering after a busy end to the financial year. You've been used to a full office in January and February, when very few people are absent and so, your workplace can start to look very empty around now.

But what about those they left behind? Time to rally the troops round in Perkbox's guide to spring break for non spring-breakers.

Treat yourself to a four day week

The benefits of a four day, or even a three day week are so great that some companies are even advocating them full time. Workers are happier, healthier and more productive. Enjoy the mini-lift that the bank holidays give you, and book your own three day weekends in too.

annual leave

Take a weekend away

There are a surprising number of destinations that make great weekend breaks. It's a big world, after all. How about Seville for the Feria de Abril? Or Ypres Cat Festival (yes, you read that right), in May? Just a change of scene for a few days can serve well to realign your goals and motivate you.

Be a spring social butterfly

Social events really start to ramp up from April onwards, and you don't need to take time off to enjoy them. We're not just referring to your neighbourhood barbeque or your weird cousin’s wedding. We're talking marathons, parades, sports tournaments, open air swimming pools, rooftop bars, al fresco cinemas, outdoor eating and more. Pretty much any activity going can be improved by the suffixes 'outdoor', 'lawn' or 'rooftop'. Except perhaps 'tax return'.

Have a spring clean

Not a literal one. No one wants to see just how many dirty mugs you have loitering in your drawer. But with people away, perhaps expectations are lower and you have sometime to reassess your desk, your timetable, your plans and your work, and 'spring clean' up your act.

Step up to the mark

The flipside of the above can also occur: important people are away and it's all on you to do everything! Enjoy stepping up to the mark in the absence of your line manager, and see how well you can get things moving without them. If things get stressful, know that it's only temporary.

Give up giving up

If you're not religious, giving up items for Lent and beyond is difficult and not particularly effective. Aside from using up your limited willpower on something trivial, denying yourself something may end with you gorging as soon as your curfew lifts. If you need to get through a difficult working day, withholding chocolate most likely isn’t going to help. Take something up instead: eat some rhubarb, prawns or tenderstem broccoli - all seasonal produce and best at this time of year.

Enjoy your empty office

Gradually spread your staplers, files and nik naks, so that your desk empire starts to encroach on the empty seats next to you. Now that there are a multitude of places to sit, why not hold impromptu meetings around your desk? Water the plants without the person who always waters the plants there to tell you off for over-watering. You get the idea.

And remember to book off December 28 – 30 this year to get a ten-day break at Christmas!

annual leave

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