According to a recent survey shared on LinkedIn it can be difficult to fully switch off and 21% of workers feel they need to keep on top of work or stay connected even while on holiday. 16% said the line between their work and home lives was too blurred to truly disconnect, and one in four surveyed admitted to checking their emails on holiday.
How you can switch off from work on holiday this Summer?
As a career coach, much of my current work centres around creating clear boundaries for ourselves.
Realistically, there may be times when we are on leave that we do need to check important emails or respond to certain messages. However, there are ways we can do this which don’t impact negatively on our holiday times.
Setting an hour aside first thing in the morning, 6-7am, to get up before the family to check emails or respond to any urgent queries. If needed could it be possible to also schedule an hour between 4-5pm to make important call backs? It’s vital this is planned and agreed with whoever you’re going away with prior to the holiday so they are aware you’ll be doing this. It could mean that when you are together on the beach, for example, you aren’t constantly checking your phone or stressing about what you’re missing with work/feeling guilty you’re not paying attention to others. Then you can enjoy the special moments, being fully present and relaxed.
There are a few common rules to follow when setting boundaries for any situation and they include:
- Working out what you will and won’t accept. In the example above, is it acceptable for you to get up an hour early to check your emails before the family wakes up? Perhaps grabbing a coffee and finding a quiet place where you can do this first thing sounds like a nice idea? Or is this totally unrealistic for a person who loves a lie in?!
- Communicating clearly with others – we need to ensure people around us know what our boundaries are. Once we have worked out what is acceptable to us, we can include them in the planning stage so they can have a say – after all, it may impact their holiday too. When we communicate clearly, we can avoid confusion and potential confrontation later down the line.
- Focussing on the benefits – in this case, being able to maintain necessary communication with work in a set time so we can switch off for the rest of the holiday means we can fully recharge our batteries with no guilt or anxiety!
- Don’t compromise your happiness – sometimes others may not always agree and can push back but this is usually short lived. Once they observe the benefits, they will often see that boundaries are healthy and respect you more for your clear approach. If your team know that you will NOT be answering your phone but WILL call them back between 4-5pm, they will soon adapt to this way of working. It’s a great example to be setting to the rest of your colleagues – we all need time to fully switch off on holiday!
How we define an effective work life balance is different for everyone, what’s important is that you are happy with your own balance and it works for you and those around you.
Do you feel there are changes you could make before taking taking annual leave this Summer? Feel free to share your comments and tips for switching off below! And enjoy your holidays! 🙂