What is leave and why do we need time off from work?
“Knowing the importance of rest and the social nature of human beings, work culture has been designed to allow employees to take leave from work in order to productively continue giving their best at work
Almost everyone can relate to the challenge of going to work when someone is not willing, acting indifferent and showing an inattentive disposition to their colleagues and the tasks at hand. Working five and in some cases six days a week, eight hours a day, can have a serious toll on your body and at worse lead to burnout. Out of frustrations from the reality of work, the fear of being subjected to work all the days of his life without rest drove Pinocchio to strike dead, his mentor “The Talking Cricket” with a hammer.
Knowing the importance of rest and the social nature of human beings, work culture has been designed to allow employees to take leave from work in order to productively continue giving their best at work. By law, workers are entitled to various forms of leave. In Kenya for instance, the labour laws allow employees at least 21 paid Annual leave days. We are all susceptible to fatigue from many days of exhausting work, and it’s only befitting that we occasionally take a few days off to rest and rejuvenate.
We all know that time never waits for anyone. It is therefore up to us to manage our social life intertwined with our work lives. It is not unique to be with colleagues who keep fidgeting and twisting, lacking concentration due to continuous days of work. Taking time off from work to attend to private or recreational pastimes has shown that affected staff comes back from leave re-energized and inspired to continue delivering positively at work.
Another type of leave that is more of a necessity is sick leave. There are times when the body gets sick and staff would need to visit the hospital for treatment. Parents and caregivers appreciate sick leave very much, particularly for the young ones who are often susceptible to common cold and other diseases. In Kenya, we also enjoy maternity leave. New mothers are entitled to 3 months paid leave following birth, so as to give undivided attention to the newborn. Interestingly, male colleagues are also entitled to 2-weeks of paternity leave to enjoy the gift of being a dad!
Research has shown that having compassion as a value makes a large difference in establishing a healthy organisational culture. Compassionate Leave is given to staff who have gone through trauma such as the loss of a loved one and goes a long way to reassure colleagues of a workplace full of support and human care. Of course, we love our privacy and at certain times, we are not able to communicate our reasons to request leave. In their wisdom, psychologists entrenched leave of absence in our workplaces for our benefit. Imagine having to explain to your boss that you need to attend to your personal side hustle, a reality of our times, which though not recognised in our normal workplaces requires your direct involvement!
Our last leave to consider is compulsory leave, which is an administrative time-off given to staff to allow room for objective investigations into one’s professional conduct.
Appreciating the benefit of leave and offs, whether paid or unpaid, is very important to both staff and employers so as to account for time in employment. The Baraza Leave Management System is a comprehensive Human Capital tool, accessible online and mobile, designed for organisations to oversee Leaves and Time-offs in a structured form to support organizational work time