Thursday, May 22, 2008

How to go on vacation and leave work behind, 5 simple tips

Vacations are a key part of a healthy work/life balance, but more often than ever people are bringing work along on personal vacations. According to a recently released CareerBuilder survey, one in four workers will be staying in touch with work while on vacation this year.

Vacation should be a time to catch up with family and friends, and recharge batteries. After a restful vacation, many workers come back to the office more productive than before they left.

Work is best done at work, not on vacation. Follow these 5 tips to make sure work stays at the office and not on the beach ruining your vacation:

1. Plan ahead. Tell everyone on your team the dates you will be out of the office as soon as possible. Finish up as much work as you can before leaving. Give at least one person a copy of important information they may need in your absence. It will be easier to leave the office behind if there are no large projects on your desk and your colleagues are up to date.

2. Leave your work area clear. A messy desk will only add to the stress you feel when returning to the office after vacation. Also, if your desk is tidy, coworkers will be less likely to dump folders or paperwork all over it.

3. Delegate important tasks. If someone will be in charge of your duties while you’re out, set aside training time to be sure they know what to do before you leave. Print out a list of tasks, if that makes it easier.

4. Clear your calendar for the day you return. Like a messy desk, a full calendar on the day you return will only stress you out. Possibly schedule a long meeting with yourself, so no one can sneak in any meetings while you’re gone.

5. Leave the laptop behind. And stash the Blackberry, too. You probably won’t be able to resist the temptation to check your email if you know your laptop is tucked in your bag. Your family and friends will appreciate your time and attention.

It’s best for you and your coworkers that you leave work at the office when you go on vacation. You’ll return re-energized and de-stressed, a benefit for all involved - you, family and friends, and coworkers.

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