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The importance of taking a break

Claire Murphy

How many of you have been working from home for the last 17 months and have allowed your annual leave to build up?

Look back and see when you have last taken a full week off. If you have taken this time, great! If you haven’t and like me have worked a solid 11 months without a week of “holiday time” …. Take that annual leave.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have taken the odd day or two here or there over the last 11 months but they have all been functional days. I was very fortunate to be in a position to buy a house late last year so all of those random days here and there were very exciting visits to solicitor offices and trips to homeware stores to buy floors and “housey things” (You know you’re getting old when the prospect of a new hoover gets you excited).

I recently decided to take a week off and fully switch off. I put on my out-of-office, removed work emails from my phone, put my laptop away, tied up any loose ends, and sent my handover. I am grateful that I am able to do this and know I won’t be hassled with any work-related calls as our team is extremely capable of managing each other’s processes while people are away.




I can honestly say that I did not know how much I needed that time off. I had forgotten how not to be in a routine. I went on a staycation (dog and all) got away from the laptop screen, reduced my phone use, caught up on books I promised myself I would finish, and enjoyed the “me” time. I caught up with friends and family and with the country slowly opening up again it was great to have some form of normality.

In the weeks leading up to that time off, I found some of the days rolled into one. I thrive on planning and routine, but it was getting monotonous, and I was constantly surrounded by articles of the dreaded “burnout” – a stage I never want to reach.  At the end of the day, if you’re not feeling 100%, your work won’t be 100% (that’s how I feel anyway).

On returning to the office/home office, I have a fresh outlook and a set of fresh goals to work towards for the next couple of months towards the end of the year.

Plus, more leave is booked for October!




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