As spring-time approaches and the weather gets nicer, many people dream about getting out of the office and taking a trip. Though the thought of getting away may seem impossible and some may fear that taking time off of work can be seen as a poor work ethic, or that you aren’t prioritizing work. The truth is that vacations are necessary for the body and brain, and are also beneficial for your work productivity.
Plan Ahead – Schedule your vacation in advance. In every work environment there is usually some sort of priority order or request process to ensure coverage and that no team member is left to do all the work for an extended period of time. Getting your request in 2-3 months in advance is ideal. Planning this far in advance will also help you manage the workload in the weeks prior to your vacation, as well as when you get back. Planning ahead will alleviate some stress for your co-workers or team members because there were prepared and willing to help.
Get Organized – Clean up your emails, organize the papers or work materials on your desk. Be sure to make your office space or desk area as organized as possible for your return after your vacation. Plus, if you need a co-worker or your manager to grab something from your desk while you are gone they don’t need to be rummaging around.
Out of office – Always put your out-of-office on your email and voicemail. Provide the information of someone who can be contacted while you are out, if need be. Also, tell clients, co-workers, partners, or anyone you are regularly in contact for work purposes that you will be out of the office.
Don’t Feel Guilty – Vacation days are a perk that are granted to you and you deserve to take a vacation. You are given paid vacation days for a reason, use them.
Disconnect – Many times vacations feel necessary because you are getting too burnt out at work. On your trip, try to disconnect and not focus on work as much as possible. It is okay to check your emails every once in a while just to stay updated, but it is extremely rejuvenating to completely disconnect.
Change of Surroundings – Having the same routine, Monday through Friday, can lessen creativity and inspiration. Going to a new place or even visiting a past vacation spot will help clear your mind and allow you to get out of your comfort zone. This helps produce new ideas or a different solution to a problem.
Enjoy – Vacations are meant to be a reward. They are for your enjoyment and you should relax as much as possible on vacation. Even though it’s difficult, try not to think about work. Take this time to read a book and catch up on sleep, or try a new activity. Do what makes you happy.
Although it can be hard going back to work after a nice, relaxing vacation, and it may be hard to get back into the swing of things, many find that they have a fresher outlook on their work. Many people are happier and healthier when they return from their vacations. It can be tempting to just keep plugging along at work, but from time-to-time, we need to remember to treat ourselves and use our vacation days for enjoyment.
Laura Nelson, LEED GA – Business Analyst