Summer will be here soon, yet Americans are losing on average four to five paid vacation days – a total of 500 million vacation days and $52.4 billion in earned vacation benefits each year because we are afraid to take time off, recent studies indicate. Amy Fox, a CEO, business owner and expert in productivity, has tips for how people can plan ahead to be really off while on vacation. Read on for details and contact me to speak with Amy.
Tips to be Truly “Off” When You’re on Vacation
Amy is CEO and founder of Accelerated Business Results, a leader in innovative business learning solutions and consultant to Fortune 500 companies. She points out that even when people go on vacation, they often continue to respond to work emails and messages. That conditions their coworkers and supervisors to think they are available even when they are supposed to be “off.”
Some of Amy’s tips to help people plan for a real vacation, unplugged from work, include:
- Spell it out in policy. Amy’s company details steps employees should take in its employee handbook. For instance, employees are expected to put their days off on a vacation calendar at least 60 days in advance. A month before taking off, employees are proactively planning what needs to be covered while they are away, delegating responsibilities and setting expectations with coworkers. Two weeks before they depart, employees submit a plan to supervisors covering any unexpected “what ifs” that might arise.
- If You’re Really Off, Don’t Be “On.” If an employee sets up an email or phone alert that they are out of the office, it is up to the person getting the message to respect that, and the person who is away to uphold their “out of office” status. “Resist the urge to respond. Otherwise, what’s the point of even telling others that you’re out?”
- Real Emergency? Have a plan in place to handle it. Companies and employees should decide in advance the protocol for how they would handle the most extreme emergencies, including how to contact the employee if absolutely necessary.
Most managers recognize the benefits taking time off from work provide to employees, including higher productivity, better morale and employee retention and significant health benefits.
“Many companies understand that there’s a long-term benefit to employees truly unplugging and recharging, both for the employee and the company,” Amy says. “Rested employees are more productive, happier employees.”
About Amy: Amy Fox is President, CEO and founder of Accelerated Business Results, a leader in innovative business learning solutions, and a consultant to Fortune 500 companies on training and sales performance strategies. Amy and her team are driven to meet the diverse training needs of today’s organizations, from increased sales performance and product knowledge to leadership, communication and coaching skills.