It’s summertime, so that means many of us are heading out on vacation. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen post lately on social media that they’re working from the beach, mountains or some other exotic location. We hear the term ‘working vacation’ used often, but is there really such a thing?
In today’s work environment, everyone wants to show that they’re a hard worker and that they can be counted on by their employer at all times. I think both employees and companies alike can agree that there is a value in taking a break and enjoying some downtime. I know—that’s easier said than done for most of us!
If you are going to work on vacation, use these tips to make it most effective. First, plan ahead for your time away. Work with your team in advance to establish the dates you will be out of the office, what work you will be doing while you’re on vacation, as well as what responsibilities need to be covered and who will be covering them in your absence. Proper planning will help you and your co-workers.
This may sound remedial, but make sure to set your e-mail and voicemail messages for your away time. In both, clearly state the time you will be out, the date you will return, and who people can contact while you’re gone. Although this is a simple step, many people forget in their haste to leave for vacation! If you do forget, most of us are able to handle it remotely and if this isn’t possible, contact your IT department or a co-worker to see if they can update it for you.
Be realistic about what work you plan to do on vacation. For example, if you are pitching a huge deal to a significant potential customer, it may be best to postpone your trip!
Checking and responding to e-mails and/or voicemails is a more reasonable expectation. This can help you stay in touch and also answer any urgent or important matters. One good idea is to set a particular time of day that you will check e-mail or call in to the office. This will allow your team back at the office to anticipate the timing and plan around it. Also, before you agree to check e-mails or participate in a conference call, ensure that you will have the technical ability to do these things. Most hotels have a business center or Wi-Fi available, but many rentals and, of course, remote locations may not.
So, enjoy your summer and try not to work too hard during your vacation!