The importance of holidays – Go get some sun!

Gemma Shambler | 25th January 2019

I recently started a new role at The Happiness Index as Head of People. During my induction, I was asked by our Head of Robots – Matt Stannard, “What makes you happy?” Apart from the obvious answer of family, my immediate answer was “Holidays”!

Whether it’s visiting a new city, skiing or returning to a much-loved destination, nothing makes me happier than going on holiday. Switching off from everyday life, not having anything specific to do on a given day and being able to be in the moment with my little family to simply enjoy each others company and our surroundings are priceless. Many of my happiest childhood memories are from the times we spent together on family holidays. This is something I’m hoping to replicate for my little boy.

Apparently, not everyone shares my views!


I was shocked when I learned that 90% of all holiday taken by the guys here at The Happiness Index was for a duration of four days or less. This prompted me to research whether this type of leave was actually good or bad for the wellbeing of our people.

I came across a study conducted by Radboud University Nijmegen in The Netherlands that was published in “The Journal of Happiness Studies”. 54 participants were all tasked with reporting their health and wellbeing before, three or four times during, and five times after their holiday, based on six factors – health status, fatigue, satisfaction, mood, tension and energy levels.

What’s the perfect amount of leave to take?

The scientists concluded that the perfect length of time to take off to truly unwind is at least 8 days. They also concluded that regular breaks throughout the year are key to ensure that you are maintaining a good level of health & wellbeing.

Whilst it’s brilliant that we have such dedicated and motivated people working here, I want to ensure we hold ourselves accountable to our mission – ‘Freedom to be human’. I’m therefore making it my personal goal to ensure our people are taking time out to recharge their batteries and unwind. Not because it would be good for business, but because it would be good for them as humans. We all benefit from taking the time and ability to experience life outside of work. I want everyone to make their own happy memories doing whatever they see fit.

If you enjoyed this please check out some other blogs on the importance of holidays and work-life balance that I think you might find interesting:

– The importance of work-life balance
– Is your business suffering due to staff not using their annual leave?