5 Tips for Unplugging FOR REAL on Your Next Vacation

We recently asked visitors to Monster.com the question: “If asked to work during a vacation, how often is ACCEPTABLE and would not be cause for seeking another job?” and received nearly 4,000 responses. International findings included:

  • Frequently – I am not concerned with working almost every time when on vacation – 11%
  • Occasionally – I am a little concerned with working occasionally when on vacation – 17%
  • Rarely – I prefer not working when on vacation – 27%
  • Never – I do not work when on vacation – 45%

Breaking down the numbers by region, there were significant differences between countries. For instance, 73% of respondents in Germany answered that they never find it acceptable to be asked to work while on vacation; whereas only 35% of French respondents and 39% of UK respondents felt that way.

But when you take the time to clear your mind of business issues, you gain a better perspective on them when you return to the office. Additionally, when you go on vacation and know the office won’t contact you, you can enjoy yourself more – your family and friends want and deserve your undivided attention when you’re on a family vacation. Use your vacation as it was intended. You, your coworkers and your family will all reap the benefits.

Here are 5 tips for helping you fully enjoy your time off.

  • Create a plan. In most cases, you’ll need to delegate your work to someone else on your team while you’re away. Talk to your manager well in advance about your vacation and create documentation that outlines clear how-tos for typical tasks, as well as guidance of how to make decisions that will likely crop up. Don’t wait until the last minute to do this, or you’ll just stress yourself out even more.
  • Set expectations and communicate them. Clearly communicate via your voicemail and email away message that you are on vacation. Your away messages should provide the dates you will be away and share an alternative contact inside the company for urgent business.
  • Delete access to your work email from your phone. Still want to be online, just not at work? Temporarily delete work email access from your phone.
  • Swap your smartphone for a regular camera. If you normally take photos with your phone, bring a regular digital camera instead. You won’t be tempted to check messages, log into Facebook, etc., if you don’t have the option in your hands constantly.
  • Stick to your resolve. The moment you check back in and respond to something, you will have given your co-workers the green-light to contact you. It will be hard to go back to vacation mode after that. Hold fast.

What are some of your favorite tips for unplugging on your vacations?

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