How to Maximize Paid Time Off and Truly Vacation Without Stressing About Work - The Solihull Observer

How to Maximize Paid Time Off and Truly Vacation Without Stressing About Work

Solihull Editorial 19th Dec, 2022   0

We all need a break from work once in a while, and yet in the modern world it’s difficult to truly switch off during vacations.

Understanding why this is the case, and what you can do to avoid compromising the quality of your paid time off, is important, so let’s unpick the state of play and give you the tools to step away from your professional responsibilities without the stress.

Why paid time off matters in 2023

The world is experiencing an especially tumultuous time right now, with rising inflation putting pressure on household budgets, and uncertainty about the economic and political future of the country and the planet piling on even more anxiety to the average employee.




As a result, if you aren’t serious about maximizing your paid time off, your mental health will suffer, which in turn will compromise your physical wellbeing, creating a vicious cycle of deterioration.

What managers need to do to help employees


Managers must go the extra mile to support team members taking time off, and there are tools to track employee vacations which help to avoid all sorts of common snafus.

Of course it’s not enough to just stay on top of the administrative side of things; you also need to be proactive in encouraging employees to actually take advantage of the time that’s afforded them in their contract.

Burnout is a real threat to productivity and retention, so you need to have a competitive paid time off package, and also make sure that people don’t feel like they are shirking their duties if they leverage it.

Set an out of office status & disable notifications

To truly disconnect from work life, you have to turn off notifications for work email and instant messaging accounts, while also setting an out of office auto reply which will let those who do get in touch know when you’ll be back, and who to get in touch with in the interim.

Furthermore, businesses must have clear HR policies which state that when an employee is on vacation, or even just off the clock before or after work in a normal week, colleagues and managers cannot contact them and expect an immediate response.

Policies which draw a line in the sand between working hours and personal downtime will avoid any awkwardness, and make it easier to let go of your office brain when you’re away. It’s all part of striking the right work-life balance.

Get into the great outdoors

Being in nature has a restorative impact on our minds and bodies, so while the allure of a city break might be strong, you’ll benefit more if you factor in some outdoor excursions away from busy areas.

Avoid a rigid itinerary

Working life is defined by routines, and so you need your vacation to break from the norm, or else it’ll feel like just another day at the coal face.

Embracing spontaneity on paid time off, as opposed to putting a strict itinerary in place for every moment of your vacation, will strip you of the trappings of the working world, if only for a few days or a week.

Be prepared for your return

Prior to leaving for paid time off, you should put a plan in place to bring you back into the fold of work upon your return.

If you’ve left any loose ends, then you’ll only be fretting about these during your vacation. It’s better to be well prepared to resume your professional responsibilities, and to talk to other team members about your intentions.

Wrapping up

It’s important to be kind to yourself, so if your attempts to de-stress during a vacation don’t have an immediate impact, accept this and keep trying. You’ll get where you need to be with time, patience and the support of good managers.

This is a submitted article. 

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