Editorial

Unplugging at vacation time takes effort

Thursday, June 1, 2017

You may be planning a vacation from work this summer ó but are you really?

Smartphones, tablets and laptops are a double-edged sword when it comes to work.

Yes, they free us to be able to work where ever we are. Unfortunately, they make it possible for work to follow us when weíre supposed to be taking a break.

Thatís especially true for younger employees who didnít hold jobs that had to be tied to a desk in an office. About half of employees ages 35-54 say they donít connect at all with the office during a break, while 60 percent of workers 55 or older donít.

According to a survey from temp worker agency Accountemps, 54 percent of workers said they typically check in with the office at least once or twice a week during vacation, up 41 percent from last year.

According to the survey, professionals said they plan to take an average of 10 vacation days this summer, the same as last year, and 30 percent said they plan to get away for more vacation days than last stumer.

Accountemps executive director Michael Steinitz told the Public News Service that itís hard to come back recharged and refreshed if youíre constantly worrying about work.

ďEveryone has their smartphone and is always glued to it, and I think it's really important that people do their best to break away from it,Ē Steinitz said. "And if you feel the need that you've got to check in, certainly try to set some sort of boundaries so that you don't get completely carried away with it."

Supervisors need to set an example by not checking in on their employees while on vacation, and not expecting their employees to do the same.

Itís easier to truly disconnect if you know youíve covered all the bases before leaving for vacation, according to Accountemps:

* Put vacation on your calendar far in advance, make a list of everything that needs to be handled and issues that might arise. Make appointments for after you return in advance so youíre ready to hit the ground running.

* Ask for help from colleagues. Delegate responsibilities evenly among your team to avoid burning out one person.

* Let everyone know when you will be gone and any projects that may come due while youíre gone, and offer to help them prepare in any way for your absence.

* Clarify what type of crisis justifies calling you in from vacation.

* And, as a temporary staffing agency for accountants, Accountemps suggest considering bringing in temporary staffing.

* Clean out your inbox and voicemail, and update your outgoing voicemail message and out-of-office email reply.

* Clean up your physical desk so work youíve put off wonít be waiting when you get back.

The sign of a good manager is the ability to arrange a meaningful vacation.

A little good management can result in a refreshing, recharging time away from the daily routine.

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