When you’re already struggling to get your work finished between nine and five, the thought of using your vacation allowance seems ludicrous. Yet, taking a work holiday could be just what you need.
Work-related stress is climbing, as we all push ourselves longer and harder in order to achieve our career goals. And yet, research shows that those that do less do more.
Employees that use up their vacation days are 6.5% more likely to gain a promotion.
Likewise, it has been found that returning to work with the positive, happy outlook that comes with a trip away results in 31% higher levels of productivity, a 37% increase in sales and three times higher levels of creativity.
The benefits of taking regular breaks from work are felt across the board, from the interns up to the executives. Yet, for those high up in the corporate structure, taking a work holiday can take weeks of preparation. However, if done correctly, it is possible to disconnect from work and enjoy a well-deserved break.
5 must-dos before you jet off on a work holiday
Make a checklist
In the weeks leading up to your escape, write down everything that needs to be done before you leave the office. Order each item on the list by priority and do as much as you can before you go, starting with the most important. Any time-sensitive tasks that you don’t get around to completing should be passed on to somebody else.
Set up an autoresponder
You don’t want your clients to think that you’re ignoring them. Before you head off, make sure that all emails to your work account are responded to with an out-of-office message. Even then, if you’re expecting something important, ask a co-worker to check your inbox daily.
Disconnect your work email from your phone
The emergence of smartphones means that we can now be constantly connected, no matter how far from the office we are. To fully benefit from your time off, you need to completely disconnect from your job. No matter how strong-willed you are, you won’t be able to resist replying to a work email once you’ve seen it.
Pick an emergency contact
Understandably, there will be certain situations that simply can’t wait for your break to end. Find a colleague that you trust to contact you if you’re really needed and give them your emergency contact details.
Prepare for your return
Block off your first day back in the office. You will undoubtedly have a full inbox to sort through and need to work on getting everything back in order. The last thing you want is to be called in to a last-minute meeting on your first day back.