Of course, your job keeps you busy. It's still important to take time off and completely disconnect from work. It has become too easy for employees to sign in remotely while on vacation and do a little work. It's time to stop. Take a deep breath and enjoy your vacation.
How To Disconnect From Work
Want to enjoy your day off? Then prepare in advance. Determine which assignments or tasks will be hanging over your head while on vacation, and make sure they are finished or delegated before you leave.
Tell everyone in the office that you are unreachable while you are gone. Leave someone else in your department in charge in the event of emergencies. If a problem arises, your stand-in can handle it until you return.
Leave the laptop at home. Don't even be tempted to bring it. Turn off your phone ringer and only check it periodically, mainly to see if you got those beach restaurant reservations, of course.
Benefits of Fully Signing Off
Working vacations have become such a trend that many employees have forgotten why they should bother to disengage entirely. After all, the ability to video conference has made it so easy to stay connected and in touch. That's a good thing, right?
Wrong. Studies have repeatedly shown that a complete, intentional break from work is one of the best things you can do. Not only will you enjoy your time off more, but you will also reap long-term benefits, such as:
Improved mood: Research shows that vacations are so good for our mood that just planning one makes people happier. Planning it and then following through is even better.
Better acumen: After vacation, employees report a greater ability to focus on and complete goals. Time off relieves mental stress and allows the brain to recover and re-sharpen its tools.
Improved physical health: Often, vacations promote more physical activity through walking, swimming, or biking. But even if your vacation is more sedentary, the relief from stress improves blood pressure and heart function.
Better personal relationships: Taking time off with family or friends strengthens those bonds and gives you a fantastic dopamine rush. Even if you vacation alone, getting to know the host of your quaint inn or your hiking guide creates a similar feeling of belonging.
Improved mental health: Work is stressful, even in a job you love. When we're exposed to continuous stress, the hormone cortisol has a field day in our bodies. Chronic exposure to cortisol can lead to anxiety and depression. Getting away from it all allows our bodies to recover from the cortisol dump.
Less Burnout: Tired of your job? Employees who go on vacation frequently report renewed interest and excitement in their work when they return.
Greater Life Satisfaction: Vacations help you enjoy your day off, but they also help you enjoy your life more. They reset the lens through which you view your circumstances and promote feelings of satisfaction and well-being.
Gain New Insights: Whether you are going somewhere entirely foreign or staying at your favorite beach close to home, each vacation is an opportunity to see things from a new perspective. These new insights can enrich your home life and provide creative impetus when you return to work.
Transitioning Back To Work Easily
Vacationing is all well and good, but how do you return to work when it's over? Just as you made plans in preparation to leave, you can make plans to return. Do you need a day at home before going back to work? Do you want to do laundry and grocery shopping first or leave it for later? Answer these questions to determine how much time you need between the end of your vacation and showing up at the office.
On your first day back, prioritize your assignments. It may feel overwhelming to have so many responsibilities again. Get them under control with a list that puts them in order of importance.
Don't forget to take breaks at work. You will probably be inundated with requests for your time. That's okay; complete those requests around the appropriate lunch and snack breaks. Take a quick walk outside on one of your breaks to reconnect with nature and get your blood pumping.
If possible, don't go to any meetings on your first day back. They can suck up a lot of time and make you feel less productive. You will feel better about returning to the job if you can tackle your to-do list first and save your meetings for another day later in the week.
Ready to go on vacation? Check with your HR department to clear the dates you want, and start planning. Let your co-workers know that you will be unplugging from the office, and go enjoy yourself.