Everyone deserves a vacation. But, it can be hard to enjoy yourself when your phone is constantly going off with calls, text messages, and emails from your colleagues and clients. This is especially true if you are part of the mobile workforce, since people tend to treat remote workers as if they should always be plugged into work. How should you handle work-related issues when you’re on vacation? Follow these tips:
Prep Before You Go
You should never go on vacation without telling anyone. About two weeks before your scheduled vacation, send out an email to your co-workers and clients to let them know that you will be taking time off. You should also ask that if anyone has any last minute requests, they send them to you by a certain date so you can get them done before you leave. Finally, provide them with the contact information of someone in your office who will be filling in for you while you are away.
Clear Our Your Inbox
If you can’t bear the thought of being away from your email for the entire trip, allow yourself to check your email, but only once per day. Get rid of any emails that you do not need to read or respond to just to clear out the clutter in your inbox. Do not respond to any emails that are not urgent. If you do, you are opening the door for this client or co-worker to continue contacting you with non-urgent items while you are on vacation. If something is labeled as “urgent,” then you can address it while on vacation. But, make sure you CC the person who is filling in for you and remind the sender that you are out of the office in your response. It’s possible that the sender will then either start communicating directly with the person filling in for you or wait until your return.
Set A Schedule—And Stick To It
Before you leave, tell your co-workers and clients if you will be accessible by email and if so, how many times per day you will be checking it. Then, make sure you stick to whatever schedule you create. Why does this matter? Let’s say you tell your team you will be checking email throughout the day, but when you arrive at your vacation destination, you decide you could really use some time to relax, so you turn your email off. Your co-workers are still under the impression that you will be checking your email frequently, so if a problem arises with one of your clients, they will most likely email you and wait for a response. Avoid this problem by coming up with a plan for handling emails while on vacation, and then sticking to it.
Respond After Hours
If you absolutely have to respond to an email or return a phone call, do it after hours. This will reduce the likelihood that the person will answer the phone or immediately reply to an email, so you won’t get sucked into doing business during your time off.
Follow these tips so you can return to the office recharged and ready to work after some much-needed time away.