Why a vacation from work can make you a better employee

By Robert Half on 10 December 2018

It’s challenging to leave your work at the office behind now that digital devices keep you bound to the job.

However, taking a vacation from work is vital to maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Before taking time off for a holiday, keep the following tips in mind as you get ready to leave the office so you can spend your time relaxing instead of thinking (too much) about work.

All about timing

If a big project is due soon, then now is definitely not the time to take a vacation. Keep projects and teammates in mind when you plan your getaway. Don’t make them pick up your slack during the busiest time of the year.

Not only is that unfair, but you also don’t want to give your manager and colleagues the impression that you’re trying to get out of hard work.

However, if the dates of your going away coincide with peak office activity and you really cannot change them (for example, attending a child’s overseas college graduation) – do give your team advance notice.

Work with them to find solutions that will help ease the extra responsibilities they’ll be handling in your absence.

Helping hands

Ask colleagues if they mind taking on on-going projects while you’re away.

Enlist a few helpful colleagues rather than piling all of your work on one person. Give managers, clients and team members a list of who will be covering which tasks in your absence. Do a proper handover and update them on the status of the projects before you leave.

Your colleagues will be happy to lend a hand, especially if you return the favour when it’s their turn to go on leave.

Leave things in good shape

Before you take off, wrap up as many of your tasks as possible. Remember to take time to do some spring cleaning so that you come back to a tidy workspace. Also, remember to organise your email inbox.

You can create rules that forward emails from specific clients to the individuals covering for you.

Don’t forget to set an away message for both email and voicemail where the names and contact information of your backups are listed.

Vacation from work takes discipline

It’s okay to check work email or call in while you’re away, but make sure you establish some ground rules.

Limit your check-ins to once or twice daily. If you plan to call in for updates, let your colleagues know in advance what time will be good for all to dial in.

Do make the most out of your vacation time to relax and recharge.

Ease yourself back in

Don’t set yourself up for extra stress after your vacation from work. Avoid scheduling too many meetings on your first week back.

You’re going to have to reply plenty of calls and emails, and new projects are bound to have come up in your absence. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to tackle these issues.

By using these tips to prepare for your next vacation from work, and by getting back into the rhythm afterward, you’ll be able to relax fully – knowing that everything is under control. And the best part is that when you return, you won’t feel like you need another vacation straightaway!

More From the Blog...