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Take a holiday

“Feeling you are too busy to take a break is probably a sure sign that you really need one.”

This is a quotation from the recently published booklet, “Protecting your mental health and wellbeing: a guide for patent and trade mark professionals” The guide was produced by Jonathan’s Voice in collaboration with the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust. You can download a copy or order free print copies here https://jonathansvoice.org.uk/guide-for-patent-and-trade-mark-professionals .

Taking your annual leave has probably never been as important as now. We all need time to relax and recharge our batteries, having a good work life balance helps reduce work related stress and helps to promote good mental health. The idea of a holiday is now becoming more of a possibility as ‘lock down’ starts to ease. The Mental Health Foundation recognise the importance of taking annual leave even if your instinct is not too. This maybe even more pertinent given the economic climate in which we find ourselves, with very genuine concerns about job losses and the need to be seen to be productive.

Prior to the Covid-19 period, a survey identified by Bupa found that around 40 per cent of UK employees took only just over half their annual leave. There are a number of reasons why people might find it hard to take their leave entitlement.  These can range from concern that the work will not be covered resulting in a greater workload on return, to guilt for giving extra work to colleagues.   

So, how do you ensure you take your annual leave? There are a number of steps that might help you:

  • Plan ahead: be aware of busy periods, deadlines etc and book your annual leave at the end of a period. You will be less likely to cancel if you feel on top of your work.
  • Try if possible, to arrange a holiday with other people be that family or friends. You are much less likely to cancel
  • Ensure you find time to do a handover. Talk to colleagues and leave notes if that helps you to feel you have left things in good order.
  • Let people know well in advance you will be on annual leave; this may help to reduce emails while you away.

It is important not to think of annual leave as an optional extra, you are entitled to it and it is important to ensure health and well-being.

For more advice about looking after yourself, read the booklet. Readers have commented;
“a really excellent resource”, “the succinct and precise information without the waffle is very easy to read, digest and implement”, “a brilliant resource for all IP professionals – and lawyers generally”

Jackie Scruton

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