Here at Green Apple, we are big on work-life balance. We think it’s both the joys inside and outside of the job that make life rich and that a healthy break every now and then allows us to be more creative, thoughtful, and productive for our clients. And there’s science to back that up. Studies have shown that taking time off is not only crucial for your mental and physical health, but it can also help your work productivity.
However, we also understand that taking some time away from your desk is easier said than done. So, for anyone reading who might be a bit vacation-shy (side note: trust us, we’ve been there), we’ve put together a few of our favorite tips to help you unplug, unwind, and enjoy.
1. Trust your team.
Odds are, your team is perfectly capable of keeping the ship afloat while you are away. Trusting that your coworkers can handle things is the first step to taking a “good” vacation. There are certain actions you’ll want to take to ensure they have all they need (more on that below), but it’s important to have confidence that they are able and willing to keep things moving in your absence.
2. Provide plenty of details and directions.
It is important to set your team up for success. Ask yourself: “What are the possible questions they might run into in my absence?” Will your coworkers need login information for a specific platform that only you use? Will they need the link to a certain document in Google Drive? Will they need to know the subject line of a key email that they’re copied on but might not have needed to read with you on the case? As Brene Brown says, “clear is kind” and being clear about what needs to get done, where things are, and when they need to happen is the kindest way to set your team up for success—and give you the peace of mind to enjoy your time away!
3. Think about the return before the departure.
Either way you slice it, you probably will have some level of catching up to do upon your return. If all goes well and your team has the tools to continue to drive the work forward in your absence, you’ll need to be updated on project statuses, client conversations, or big decisions made in the last week. We like to schedule “downloads” with key team members on our first day back. First, it’s a quick and easy way to get up to speed on all happenings during your time away. Before you leave, ask your coworker (or coworkers) if you can go ahead and put some time on the calendar for your first day back. If you can, make it the first meeting you have on the morning of your return.
4. Give your clients or partners a heads up.
Between your Slack conversations and pre-PTO setup, your coworkers are likely well aware of your scheduled hiking trip in the Smokies. However, your clients or partners might not be. It’s a great practice to reach out well in advance of your time away to give them a heads up. And we wouldn’t recommend waiting until the day before, either. You’ll want to give them ample time to reflect and adjust their plans accordingly, as well. They might have been planning on looping you into a big project the week you’re away, or maybe they know they have an urgent deadline during that time period. Keeping them in the loop will help prevent any surprises or fire drills.
5. Set your out-of-office memo.
This is a big one. At this point, you’ve probably reached out to all your most frequently contacted coworkers, clients, and partners. However, you never know who might come calling while you are away. Don’t leave contacts wondering if they are being ghosted.
No, really. Unplug. And, one more time for good measure: unplug. Of all these tips, this is probably the hardest one. In spite of all the great prep work you’ve done, the fact that your coworkers have it all under control, and the fact that your partners have told you to have a great time, many of us feel the urge to keep tabs on work even while we are on vacation. We might sneak away from dinner “to just check-in” or feel a pit in our stomach when we realize the cell service on the top of the mountain is only so-so. But, here’s the thing. It’s important to fight the siren’s call of your inbox. According to a survey conducted by LinkedIn, 59% of American workers check in with work at least once a day while on vacation. This “always on” mentally can feed burnout, which is nobody’s friend. So, turn off push alerts and enjoy!
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Are you looking for a marketing partner who has your back—especially while you’re on vacation? Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.