The Working Well Series from Make Me A Plan Productivity Expert, Pen Le Kelly

School’s out for summer – bring on the sunshine, days out and ice creams! This all sounds brilliant, but what about work? You can’t just drop everything for six weeks! So, Fans of Plans, let’s take a look at different aspects of seasonal work this week to see how we can all be working well during times of high staff leave or potentially our peak seasons! 


Let’s start by taking a look at the summer holidays – a time when lots of people, especially parents to school-age children will be looking to take annual leave to spend time with their families. If you are a business owner or a manager of a department that employs working parents, this can be a tricky balance as your team members may want to be booking similar times off. But work for a lot of businesses can’t just stop. 


At all times of the year there needs to be enough of the team to manage the workload, which of course can be very seasonal, depending on the sector you work in. So what are the best ways of going about this to fairly allocate time off. 

  1. At the start of the leave year, let your team know that they can start to book their holiday requests for the year – give them an early opportunity to think about what dates they might want. That way you can plan for times when there may be more people off than usual 
  2. Set a limit on the number of your team that can be off at any one time. This can set a reasonable expectation for the team. There may be times you know are busiest in your sector, so the number of people being able to take time off may vary. 
  3. Look back a previous leave years. Are there particular members of the team who seem to always have some of the lucrative days off? Maybe it’s the run-up to Christmas or New Year, or a certain half term break.  If no one else is particularly bothered about these times, then fine. But if they are, you’ll need to come up with a fair way to allow everyone the opportunity to take this leave time – maybe an annual rota, or names in a hat. Let your team decide how this is managed so they can have a say in the process. 

We all know that our annual leave entitlement is precious and for many it can never quite feel like enough. Managers need to respect this and make sure that their teams get the time of work when they need it. Whether it’s to recharge their physical and mental wellbeing, look after their family or to take a trip of a lifetime. Spreading annual leave out through the year is important to not find yourself running on empty and potentially getting ill. Encourage your team members (and you for that matter!) to take leave throughout the year and not to save it all up into the last quarter.


PS - If you are keen for some individual wellbeing tips to complement this Working Well life, check our Being Yourself Series with Jane. You can read the latest edition here:



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