Let's face it, we're bad at disconnecting from our work.
With advances in technology, we have access to our work within seconds and have
various devices to help us do just that. We are constantly engulfed in our work
lives, often answering an important email or phone call after hours because we
know it will only take a few seconds to do and help take items off our to-do
lists. Is this a healthy work-life balance? Should we set aside time to truly
disconnect from our work so that we can enjoy our time off? Here is why
Americans are so bad at taking time off and how we need to get better.
Is it a real vacation if you don't
Everyone loves a good vacation, right? We work hard and we
deserve to take some time off to relax, recharge, and return to work feeling
refreshed. But is it a real vacation if you don't disconnect? The answer is no.
You may feel guilty for taking time off work and feel that you will return to a
flooded inbox, or you may not want to add stress to your fellow co-workers in
your absence. No matter what it is that you may be feeling that may leave you
reluctant to take time off, it is necessary for your mental health so that you
do not experience burnout. Burnout is the leading occupational hazard. A recent report from Indeed found that employee burnout is on the
rise: 52% of all workers are feeling burned out, up +9% from a pre-COVID survey
· How to make it a REAL vacation?
So how can you truly disconnect? A simple tip is to
dedicate time in your schedule where you will have zero distractions. This
could mean blocking a specific time slot in your calendar that you will not be
on or near your phone. This could be something as simple as enjoying breakfast
with your spouse, or simply watching a sunset; but taking time away from your
phone is important. Modifying your push notifications can help keep you from
constant email checking and allow you to truly relax during your time off. While
you are away, delegate a trusted coworker who can respond to needs in your
absence and if a truly emergent situation arises, can reach out for next steps
to help diffuse the situation.
· Is "out of office" enough?
With so many devices to help us connect in seconds, is
setting an "out of office" message enough? To truly make sure that you can
disconnect and enjoy your time off, set your "out of office" message two weeks
in advance. By giving an advance notice, you can communicate that you will be
unavailable during this time unless it is a true emergency but remember to
stick to your guns and refrain from answering emails that are not urgent while
you are away.
When taking time away from work, your goal is to return
refreshed and recharged. Americans need to get better at taking time off
instead of spreading ourselves too thin and experiencing burnout. The next time
you plan to take time off from work, follow these tips to help make your time
off more enjoyable and enjoy a REAL vacation.
Morrison, Courtney. "16
Employee Burnout Statistics You Can't Ignore." EveryoneSocial, 11 Mar.