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Pop-up beach opened in tube station to encourage use of annual leave

A study has found most Brits don’t use all their annual leave, which has resulted in a pop-up beach fused with virtual reality to launch in a London Underground station.
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Spring has sprung and summer is on the way, but HR software system CharlieHR has revealed that some 73 per cent of the UK employees do not use up all their annual leave.

With little over a quarter using their allocated annual leave in time, CharlieHR said it indicates that teams that do not use the time off will impact overall business performance with poor wellbeing and productivity.

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To get people into the spirit of things, the company is encouraging the use of annual leave with a pop-up beach situated in Old Street Station until Friday 7 April. The idea is that the launch will give commuters a jump-start they need to look at their calendar and book a getaway, rather than leaving annual leave to waste away.

Annual leave

A free bar opens every evening in partnership with Jamaican rum brand Koko Kanu

It claims that taking time off is all part of a healthy working culture, which is why it’s providing free 15-minute virtual reality-based retreats from the pop-up beach.

The business revealed the study from a pool of data created by 1,000 companies and 20,000 users on its system and calculated those that had booked under the assigned annual leave amount.

To make the findings fair, it excluded users that have booked zero holiday on the system and companies with unlimited annual leave allowance.

“When we looked through our data and found that 73% of employees aren’t making the most of their holidays, we were shocked,” said Rob O’Donovan, CEO and co-founder of CharlieHR.

“Taking a break is so important. You need to recharge and come back refreshed, or face problems such as burn-out, stress and all too often a negative impact on the company itself.”Annual leave CharlieHoliday-1233 copy

In addition to the instant holidays via VR, massage treatment and refreshments, a sunrise yoga and breakfast session is also available. A Happy Hour will happen at a free bar daily too, backed by Jamaican rum brand Koko Kanu.

Other brands that have partnered to accelerate annual leave usage with the pop-up beach include fruit water from Grounded, granola from Grain & Bowl, speakers from Orbitsound, snacks from Love Corn, frozen cocktail lollies from Lic, VR and augmented reality from Realities Centre and dips from Skinny Dipping Dips.

“We wanted to remind everyone to take a break! We’re hoping our short holidays will help encourage teams to look after themselves and use all their annual leave,” added O’Donovan.

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Zen Terrelonge

Zen Terrelonge is the deputy editor of Real Business, specialising in media, innovation, technology and the digital sector. A media professional with eight years worth of experience he has worked for both startup and established publications.

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