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Should you give staff extra days off as a post-lockdown treat?

Thursday, 24 Sep 2020

It's been a tough year for everyone. Companies have seen sales suffer as a result of lockdown and social restrictions, and have relied on the dedication and commitment of their workforce to survive and thrive.

Reflecting on the past few months, many bosses are looking for ways to say thank you to hard-working employees – and offering them an extra day's holiday is a great, low-cost gift. However, it's important to think about how you manage this time off, to ensure it doesn’t leave you short-staffed during critical trading periods.

A cost-effective way to say thanks

Thank you card

Workers in every industry have been forced to think on their feet in 2020. After lockdown was announced in March, businesses across the country had to establish a new, remote way of operating at very short notice.

These national restrictions had a profound impact on employees. Many of them had to juggle childcare alongside professional responsibilities, logging on late at night to complete their hours. Some became the main provider for their household after their partners were furloughed or made redundant. Others stepped up to front-line roles, to protect shielded colleagues.

Although we're still adjusting to a 'new normal', most businesses have now found their groove and adapted to socially distanced ways of working. And with the dust starting to settle on the initial impact of lockdown, company leaders want to say thank you to staff for sticking by them when the going was tough.

But with profit margins still tight and trading down on last year for many firms, financial gifts aren't always a feasible option. That's why extra holiday is an effective way to reward loyal employees.

Family on holiday

The leave-giving has already started

Offering staff an extra day off is a major gesture of gratitude. Teams feel seen and acknowledged for the effort they have put in during the pandemic, and can they can use that holiday to de-stress or spend time with loved ones.

It's especially welcome for employees who have needed to take time off for personal commitments this year, such as childcare or looking after vulnerable friends and family. Now they have the chance to do something for themselves.

Many organisations have already set the ball rolling, by offering their workforce bonus time off. For example, in September, Angus Council announced it would be giving all its team members an additional day's holiday; Kirriemuir and Dean councillor, Julie Bell, remarked that “we need to recognise our staff and value them and this is a tiny token.

Don’t let extra time off become costly

Nice gestures can backfire if they aren't managed properly, however – which is why companies need to think about the practical impact of offering more time off. For instance, if the extra day is added to this holiday year, teams may only have a few weeks left to use it. This could result in a flurry of holiday requests, and calendar clashes between team members wanting the same days off.

The most effective way to manage bonus leave is through an online holiday planner. By moving your records online, allowances can be altered at the click of a button, and every staff member is able to check exactly how many days they now have left to use.

See WhosOff through the mobile apps

Digitally managing time off also makes it easy for the entire workforce to see who’s off at any point in time, as they can all check the same holiday calendar. With this level of visibility, staff can book their extra day’s leave around requests that have already been approved, to fit new plans around their colleagues’ movements.

Face the future with your staff on-side

It could be weeks or months before the professional world looks anything like it did before March 2020. During this time, businesses will rely on employees continuing to demonstrate commitment, willingness and flexibility to ensure ongoing success.

Gifting staff an extra day off is a great way to say thanks for their dedication to date, and to boost their morale heading into potential further uncertainty. And channelling this additional time off through online leave management software will ensure that giving people more holiday doesn’t get in the way of important business operations.

WhosOff is an online holiday planner, which takes the time out of managing time off. Book your free trial to see how it can help your company coordinate annual leave.

Photos by Giftpundits.com/Pixabay/Marcus Wöckel of Pexels.com

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Posted by Bradley Revell

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