The holiday booking habits of employees

Understand your staff a little more by adapting to their holiday habits

First published on Thursday, Aug 13, 2020

Last updated on Tuesday, Oct 03, 2017

5 min read

Did you know that the first week back in January is the most popular time for employees to book their annual leave? Data from our absence management software shows that the peak of all booked absences where in January. What's more, 77% of companies will also be resetting their annual leave allowance, so business owners are set to be spending a significant amount of time in January dealing with holiday requests.

Everyone loves a good holiday from work whether that be a staycation, a city break or total relaxation on a beach. And when it comes to booking holidays everyone is different. But what kind of holiday bookers can be found amongst your employees?

The January booker

The first minute, on the first day back after the new year, they’ll have their holiday request forms filled out and on your desk. These ultra-prepared people will have probably spent the Christmas break meticulously planning out not only their holiday bookings but also the holiday itineraries as well. They know where they’re going, when and what they are doing. Whilst their forward planning is to be admired it can also cause problems. If everyone one wants to book the same time off (school holidays or Christmas for example), and you utilise a first come first serve system, these employees could always get the holidays ahead of those less organised staff. If this is the case there will surely be disharmony from those that seem to always miss out. If this happens, it might be better to incorporate a rota system or let teams decide amongst themselves who gets the time off before the official requests come in.

The last-minute booker

We all love a last-minute deal but booking the time off can be fraught with danger. If you see a deal too good to be true, do you book it and hope you can get the time off, or do you wait for approval and hope the deal hasn’t gone? Either way, you’ll always have a last minute holiday booker amongst your staff - those who submit the request on a Thursday hoping to get time off the next day. It may be short notice and way beyond the accepted length of time, but that doesn’t stop it happening. The issue comes if you have to decline the request. For some, it was just a punt anyway and you rejecting it might not matter, but for others, there could be repercussions in terms of employee morale and motivation, as well as the danger that the employee could just call in sick when actually they are taking that long weekend they wanted.

There’s also another type of last-minute booker, the [December panicker]). These people don’t seem to take many holidays throughout the year, only to realise that they have three weeks to take and it’s nearly December! The best way to deal with this is to encourage your workers to take time off now and again. Not only is it good for them, it’s actually good for your business.

The one big holiday a yearer

The standard UK holiday entitlement is 28 days and some people seem determined to use all that allowance on one epic holiday. You know the person, the one who wants to take a month off and trek the Andes, to go find themselves in India or just to enjoy the beach life in Thailand. Depending on when they take it you can also identify them as those who are flagging six months later as they have no days left to take!

The long weekender

Does the office always seem to be quiet just before or after the weekend? Do you have an employee that always seems to take Friday or Monday off? Then you may have yourself a long weekender. Instead of taking one massive holiday a year they choose to split the holiday allowance out and take long weekends throughout the year. With 28 days to take you may start to question whether they are actually on a four day a week contract rather than full-time

The constant holidayer

You always seem to have that one employee that appears to be on holiday constantly. A few weeks in a long haul destination here, a week in Europe there, a few long weekends, a random day or two. They never seem to be in. Are you sure you’ve given them the right allowance? Seriously, are you sure?

Whatever their booking style, encouraging employees to take time off during the year can have big benefits for your business. It’s always best to try to work with your employees during the year to make sure there isn’t a sudden deluge of holiday request during the latter part of the year.

No matter what type of holiday bookers your have in your staff, the holiday request and approval process can be a hassle. Why not take a look at how BrightHR can help?

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