Go forth and vacation

Summer is here and it’s likely you have some vacation planned. You may have banked all your days for the summer months, which means you’re more than ready to hit the beach, jump on a plane or take a staycation at home. Vacation exists for a reason, and opting out can lead to burnout.

But if you haven’t booked your time off yet, you are not alone. According to a new survey from Glassdoor, the average American worker only takes 50 percent of their allocated time off per year. And when they do take time off, 2 out of 3 people are not actually unplugging from their work emails and phones.

Not only that , but the number of people who admit to working on vacation was over 65 percent. Why such a high number of workaholics? Well, there are a number of reasons.

Guilt is a primary factor. Many people, especially young workers, feel guilty leaving their coworkers with the extra work. Because for most people, their accountabilities continue even when they’re out of office, leaving some poor teammate with double the tasks – and very little credit.

Many people reported feeling concerned that they would fall behind if they went away for more than a few days at a time. It’s true that the catch-up after vacation can be taxing, but avoiding vacation altogether because of it will inevitably lead to other issues such as burnout.

According to the study, many employees felt they had to stay connected on vacation because they knew to expect phone calls and urgent emails from coworkers (29 percent) or their manager (25 percent). Simply turning off their phones or relying on their out of office alert wasn’t an option.

Taking vacation is necessary for a healthy balance. You should enjoy your time with family and friends without worrying about what’s going on back at work.

Try these tips to better prepare you for your next adventure:

  • Put your vacation request in as soon as possible. Always put it in writing (an email is fine) and be explicit about the dates and the reason for your request.
  • Come to your team with your vacation coverage plan. Explain what aspects of your role will be covered by whom and ensure everyone is clear on their responsibilities.
  • Write a clear out of office alert that outlines the above people and the best way to reach them. Ensure you state the date you will be back in the office so there is no confusion.
  • Thank your team! They’re putting themselves out for you, and frankly they will expect the same favor from you when it’s their turn.

Bon voyage!

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