For many Americans, July starts off with a bang and winds down with travel memories. You may even be reading this from a sandy beach or a mountaintop vista. But are you getting the most out of your vacation this summer? Here’s how to truly take a break this summer on your scheduled time off:
- Plan ahead. Warmer weather and breaks from school make the summer a prime time for employees to request time off. So make sure to avoid scheduling big projects during the heart of the season when possible. Otherwise, work on lining up extra help either internally or through freelancers.
- Be considerate. According to a recent survey from LinkedIn, nearly 70% of professionals don’t disconnect from work email or communications while on vacation, with the majority citing fear of falling behind as the reason. Work to create a culture that respects employees’ time off by being flexible with requests and limiting communications while they’re gone.
- Go digital. Invest in HR technology that allows employees to take ownership of their vacation requests. With the latest software, an individual can plug in the days they wish to take and view how it will impact their department or team based on coworkers’ requests. This can cut down on overlap that may hinder operations without you having to interfere.
- Plan ahead. Know when you’ll be traveling? Go ahead and put in for the dates you need. The earlier you make the request, the more time your team will have to prepare for your absence. In addition, find someone to cover your responsibilities before your superior has to. This will send a message that you plan to disconnect but you care about what happens while you’re away. Lastly, tie up loose ends and projects as time allows before your departure.
- Disconnect. Although it can be hard to do, once you’re gone, try and stick to it. Micromanaging from afar can be frustrating for all involved and can even lead to mistakes. Use your out of office manager and be sure internal contacts and outside clients know exactly who to reach out to while you’re away.
- Unwind. Those who do truly disconnect come back from vacation refreshed and more productive than before they left. In fact, the LinkedIn survey found that 58% of people who haven’t taken time off in 3 months or more feel overwhelmed at work. So let those covering for you handle it. Then, pick up a good book, plan an off the beaten path adventure, and make it a rule not to check your email.
Vacations help us disconnect from the daily grind and reconnect with the world outside the office – whether it’s your family, nature, or just a slower pace. This summer, follow the tips above and be sure to enjoy your time off!