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​Riding the summer holiday wave: How do your employees allocate their annual leave?

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Record breaking temperatures are here and so is summer holiday season.

deverellsmith polled over 600 property personnel asking which percentage of their annual leave is taken during the summer months (July and August).

Just under half of participants (48%) take holiday entitlement during July and August. A large contribution of this is likely to be due to school holidays – parents have less freedom of when they can take their family holiday – and European beaches being a staple for many Brits (affordability and distance) which mirror the UK seasons and weather cycle.

That’s around half of the workforce taking a two-week vacation across two months of the year.

Ironically, it’s been reported that summer months tend to be the busiest time for people choosing to move house, according to Investopedia. This is reflected in deverellsmith’s temporary and contract placement activity as June and July saw a 12% increase in requests compared to Q1 2022; demonstrating developers and agents’ response to ensure sites and sales functions operate.

A quarter of participants (25%) stated that 0-25% of their annual leave was taken during the summer months. Popular job titles included heads of departments - finance, lettings, operations, client acquisition, sales and marketing and land and investment.

This was closely followed by 22% of participants answering with 50-75% of annual leave being taken in summer and just 5% responding 75-100%.

However, other areas of real estate which are not involved with the immediate sale and aftercare of a property could experience a decrease in business output.

Due to the nature of job roles – tasks being less transactional, consisting of longer project work and not requiring the same urgency - temporary staffing cover is not required. Duties and responsibilities can be completed once each individual is back from annual leave, the negative impact, however, being a snowball effect of inactivity and, additionally, time to collaborate will occur on a lower frequency.

Following the 2020 pandemic an increased demand to ‘work from anywhere’ has been made apparent. According to Total Jobs Hiring Trends Index (Q2 2022) during the interview stage, a quarter (26%) of businesses report an increase in questions from candidates regarding flexible working.

This trend continues with current staff too, Total Jobs continues to report 15% of businesses saying they have had an increase in requests to ‘work from anywhere’ over the last year, with staff wanting to work in other locations both UK-wide and overseas.

The same percentage are getting more requests about 4 day working weeks. This has had a clear influence, as 12% of businesses have altered their benefits package to include ‘work from anywhere’ benefits.

As the benefit is still considered new to the market, it’s unclear whether this initiative will help combat staff shortages over the summer and support operational consistency within a business, rather than being dictated by seasonality.

According to The Total Jobs Hiring Index, with vacancies continuing to remain at a record high, businesses are looking into alternative routes to fill them. Half of businesses are planning to hire from overseas within the next year, with a third having already increased international hiring since the outbreak of Covid-19 (March 2020).

Whether businesses expand their hiring strategy to an international reach – either to work remotely or relocate – it could result in a more diverse team of individuals who favour different seasons to holiday.

Holiday entitlement is to be encouraged; it reduces burnout, supports employee wellbeing, and stimulates productivity – it’s also important to enjoy life outside of work! With technology bridging more gaps each day and connectivity being a proven source for efficiency, a wide stream solution for managing annual leave (without restricting employees) feels like it’s just upon the horizon.