When you're on vacation/holiday, the last thing you should do is check your work email. And even though disconnecting can be challenging, enjoying time off is essential. That's why you should prepare yourself in advance for a work-free holiday.
HOW TO SPEND A WORK-FREE VACATION? TIPS TO FOLLOW:
Going on a vacation is scary and stressful for many entrepreneurs and leaders. Consider all the duties you'll be left undone and the work you'll still have to perform. Not to mention, you know that when you go back, you’ll have hundreds of messages waiting for you. For these reasons, many people in leadership roles work during their vacations or even skip them altogether. This article will address these concerns and help you have a work-free (and stress-free) vacation.
IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, PLAN YOUR VACATION AHEAD OF TIME:
However, this could be a no-brainer for you, but giving yourself and your colleagues a heads-up before a holiday is a win-win. You win because you can start working ahead, changing meetings or campaigns. Meanwhile, your co-workers win as they can manage their expectations and aren't blind-sided by work around them. However, an easy way to communicate this might be during a team meeting a few weeks out or with a calendar invite sent to those needing to know. But ideally, preparing for a vacation shouldn't mean scrambling and panicking at the last minute. Remember that your holidays impact your co-workers’ schedules and your own. Even a couple of days’ worth of warning will be immensely appreciated.
DECIDE IF YOU’RE GOING TO UNPLUG FULLY:
First and foremost, will you completely disconnect or take some of your work with you on vacation? There is no correct answer here. Sure, the mental health benefits of an unplugged holiday are well-documented. But unplugging altogether might be impossible, depending on your role or company policies. In any case, it’s better to establish some ground rules to avoid constantly being on-call while on vacation. For example, try to make it evident to co-workers that you’ll only be available via email and will only react to communications during the morning or evening hours. Likewise, you could use slack to check in, but phone calls and emails are off-limits.
Most CEOs aim for perfection, but you don’t have to clear your workload before heading out of town. There is a distinction between what must be completed before you leave for your vacation and what would be wonderful to do before you leave. If something can wait two weeks, take the pressure off yourself and let it happen because life is more important than work. If something can be assigned, pass it along. But if it’s urgent, make that a priority and deal with those tasks before stepping on that plane.
ASSIGN TASKS TO CO-WORKERS YOU TRUST:
Don’t make the mistake of leaving a to-do list for your co-workers and calling it a day. Instead, talk to them. Preferably in person and then followed with a confirmation email for accountability. Let them know if you need help with your work. Actual interactions will identify potential questions your colleagues might have regarding what needs to be done. You should hand off tasks to people you trust and those who can handle the work. You should give your co-workers some credit as well. Although some of us may feel that we're irreplaceable at work, the world won't end because you're taking time off.
ENSURE THE TEAM HAS ACCESS TO THE TOOLS THEY REQUIRE:
For instance, if your social media manager left your company's Twitter account in the hands of a junior employee. But when it comes time to conduct your weekly Q&A, they’re locked out of all your social accounts. No posts, no questions, nothing. However, this speaks to the need to talk to your co-workers and ensure they have the appropriate tools and permissions to pick up the slack. Apart from this, it’s better to add a paystub generator to your tools and software if you are an HR manager. This way, managing invoices and payroll records will be easier.
ENSURE THE AUTOMATIC EMAIL RESPONSE SYSTEM IS ACTIVATED:
It may seem obvious, but the key is to convey the message that you will not be readily accessible. Your message should include details about when you can respond and who will handle your duties. Although you may check your emails frequently, disclosing this information is unnecessary.
GO ON A "WORKCATION":
If you are a freelancer, this can be a good getaway. For those freelancers who can't bear to be away from work for extended periods, a "workation" might be the perfect solution to balancing work and leisure. A workcation is when you take time off to travel, explore, and engage in enjoyable activities while also dedicating time to work on the go, perhaps from a local coffee shop or internet café. Many freelancers find that workcations provide them the flexibility and liberty they need to feel relaxed and productive. For instance, travel writers can tour various states and countries while writing about their experiences. In addition to this, since you'll be earning an income while on the road, you could extend your workcation for weeks or months rather than just a few days.
If you wish to truly enjoy your holiday and guarantee that your colleagues can effortlessly take over while you're away, some preparation can make a significant difference. Firstly, prepare a list of all the tasks you must complete before departing. This way, you can accomplish the most important duties and not have to concern yourself with them upon your return. To ensure you can resume your work where you left off after returning from vacation, create a plan of action for the tasks you need to complete upon returning to your desk. Additionally, inform people that you are out of town and on vacation by setting up an automatic email response. This will inform clients that you are paying attention to them and remind co-workers that you are on vacation. Upon returning to work, set aside an entire day to catch up.