Do you need a stress-free vacation but worry about getting behind at work or important tasks not getting done? Only half of all Americans use all their vacation time according to a recent survey by job site Glassdoor.
By managing our vacation the same way we manage our daily work day, we can reduce stress and better enjoy our time off. So here are some tips to take a break from your stressful job and have a stress-free vacation instead:
1. Decide on Vacation Time at the Beginning of the Year
While there may never be a perfect or even great time to take off work, there are usually times of the year that are better.
As a Human Resource Generalist, I never schedule vacation during annual enrollment because I know my workload will be much heavier than normal and I will need to be present for many meetings.
2. Give your Co-workers and Customers Advanced Notice
Put a calendar notice on the calendars of those you work closely with.
It will give them advanced notice as well as remind them when the time comes that you are going out on vacation so they can ask you any last minute questions.
3. Designate a Backup
Make sure your backup knows how to reach you if they cannot solve the issue themselves. I schedule time with my backup right before I leave to go over any potential situations that they may need to cover for me. Doing this right before I leave the office allows me to also brief him on the status of any current situations before I go. I create work instructions for as many processes as I can think of.
Work instructions are the steps of a process written/mapped out so someone can perform the task in your absence.
4. Set Expectations for Communication
Make it clear if you will be able to be reached and if so, that your responses may be delayed. If it gives you peace of mind to check in once a day, then do so. But then put your phone away! You cannot appreciate the view if you are too busy looking at your phone.
If you will not be able to be reached, make sure you give the office advance notice of your trip and who the name, email, and phone of who they can contact in your absence.
As I travel back from my vacation visiting a friend in the Southwest, I know that once I get over my initial jet lag, I will be able to return to work re-energized and better able to serve the employees.
While I get a deep satisfaction from my job, sometimes I need to take a break. Though we may not NEED a break it is important to remember that we DESERVE one.
Did these 4 tips for planning a stress-free vacation help you? If so, share this article with a friend who also could use some hassle-free time off work!