There’s nothing wrong with working hard as long as one gets to have well-deserved breaks once in a while. This means using one’s paid time off wisely while still getting to relax.
However, more than half of American workers don’t end up using all of their vacation days because of fears about leaving work to colleagues or looking replaceable in the workplace. With these concerns in mind, here are some ways people can avoid feeling guilty while taking time off of work.
Asking Right Away
Once one has decided to take a vacation, they’re advised to immediately inform people at work of their plans. Doing this early will likely leave them with the first choice of dates. What more, they’ll have the time to prepare a plan for the work they may be leaving behind.
Author Laura Vanderkam recommends people to choose their vacation days collectively. This will allow coworkers to cover for each other during their time off. In this process, colleagues should determine when the busiest times of the year are in the office and how they can split up the year efficiently.
Prepping a Back-Up Team
Next, choose a designated point person to cover one at work and ask some other colleagues to do certain tasks one might be leaving behind. Just try to avoid leaving more work for those who may already be swamped with their own tasks. Those in managerial positions can also take the opportunity to test a team member, who they’re considering for a promotion.
Prepping one’s team will also involve informing them of one’s vacation schedule. Tell colleagues about the exact vacation dates so they can help in coming up with a coverage plan. Make sure to do this a month ahead.
Work Rules on Vacation
Next, one should set realistic goals for both their work and leisure time while on vacation. Although it would really be nice to fully unplug from everything, some responsibilities may make this impossible.
It’s also important to set specific times when one would check in at work with their colleagues. Keep strictly with these times so as to keep travel companions happy during the vacation.
Dealing with the Aftermath
The last thing one needs to think about is how they can ease back into work mode when their time off ends. Think ahead and don’t schedule meetings on the same day that one returns to the office. Skip checking your inbox and speak with everybody first whether via phone or in person.