Keeping your Work at Bay on your Next Vaycay

Vacations are designed for some well-deserved time away from the office. Ideally, we should be able to leave it all behind and concentrate solely on our family, friends and destination.

However, in today’s world of technology, where emails are accessible 24/7/365 and a colleague is just a text or phone call away, it’s just about impossible to leave work behind. It almost makes us wish for the 1980’s, when the fax machine was the most advanced technology of office communication!

But there are a few things you can do to keep the peace among your travel companions, appease your office, and truly enjoy the vacation you deserve.

 Schedule your vacation during your office’s downtime.

Most companies have certain months that are typically busier than others. If you’re an accountant, your busiest time is tax season. People in retail tend to work the most hours between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. By taking your vacation when projects are slower, you’ll greatly decrease the amount of potential stress and be able to fully enjoy your time away.

 Delegate, delegate, delegate.

Before you leave, assign your daily tasks to people you trust. Make sure they are well aware of any upcoming deadlines and have a list of contacts they can call (other than you!) if they have questions. Speaking of contacts, make sure you leave a vacation response on your email about the dates you will be gone and who can be contacted if something arises during that time period. If people are aware you are gone for a specified time, they will be less likely to bother you with things that can wait until you get back. And don’t give your contact information out to everyone. Assign one person to make contact with you – and only if necessary!

 If you must work, stick to a schedule.

For some, work just can’t be avoided while away from the office. However, it’s not fair to friends and family who are traveling with you to make them wait while you take a conference call or not have you fully engaged in the vacation moment. If you must attend to some work while you are away, set aside one hour (or less!) each day or every other day that is dedicated to work. Perhaps it’s early in the morning before everyone is awake or an hour before the day’s activities get started. But the key is to be diligent to this time frame and ask your office colleagues to be mindful of it too.

 It will get done.

We all like to think that we are so vital to our companies and so good at what we do that the world will fall apart if we aren’t there. But the truth of the matter is that your office can probably live without you for week or so. You’ve earned this time, you deserve this vacation and you can’t afford to lose the connections and memories you will make with family and friends.