Former Fierce CEO, Halley Bock, is currently writing a column for Business 2 Community. We wanted to share with you her most recent article, published Friday, June 27th.
School’s out for summer leaving corporate hallways nearly as desolate as their high school counterparts, as families and individuals alike break out to enjoy the long summer days ahead. Unfortunately, many will return to the office as depleted, if not more so, than before they left. A survey conducted here at Fierce, Inc. found that 58 percent of workers feel absolutely no reduction in stress from their vacations, and 28 percent return even more stressed. Not exactly the outcome one would hope for.
Here are some tips to ensure this year’s vacation provides ample relief:
1) Communicate Intention. In a society that has adopted a 365/24/7 work-available mindset, it’s important to set clear expectations for how much (or how little!) you will be available during your time out of the office. For a vacation that truly recharges your batteries, communicate to your team, colleagues, and boss that you intend to fully unplug and focus on family. Ensure them that you will have all your ducks in a row should things pop up during your time away. Which brings me to…
2) Delegate Mindfully. Understanding that “the show must go on,” be mindful of the projects, pipelines, and responsibilities currently underway which may need attention while you’re out. Well in advance of your departure, identify team members or colleagues who either have experience with similar opportunities or who have shown aptitude in other areas and an interest in yours. Clearly outline the level of decisions they can make around each item and how you would like those decisions communicated. If no team is available and timeline isn’t an issue, make your vendors and partners aware of your “break,” and when you will be back to pick up work again.
3) Commit Wholeheartedly. As with any plan, success requires commitment and a healthy dose of trust. If you’ve promised yourself, your spouse, or your family that you’ll unplug, THEN DO IT. Sadly, we have become addicted to checking our smartphones because we feel it connects us to the world around us. Meanwhile, the most important connection needing tending to is sitting right in front of you. If it makes you uncomfortable to leave your phone or laptop locked up in a drawer, then all the more reason to re-establish the important relationships in your personal life. Put down your phone and look up.
Bring back the joy of summer vacation by escaping the cubicle and venturing into the unknown where long-lasting memories can be made. Recharge and reinvigorate your energy, passion, and relationships by unplugging and connecting with what’s most important – you and your family.