How to Stop Working on Vacation & Still Get Things Done

March 19, 2018 Jade Hill

Man Working on Beach

Spring Break is here, the kids are out of school, and the flights to the beach are booked. But there’s just one issue… Spring Break doesn’t technically exist once you graduate college. Lazy days in the sun, hanging out with your friends, and staying up all hours of the night are no longer a possibility when you have work that needs to get done. 

When you’re responsible for ensuring that nothing major happens while you’re out on PTO, the lines between work and vacation can start to blur. Use these tips for ensuring that you still have an amazing vacation, even if you do have to spend a few hours of it working.

  1. Work Before You Leave
    It may seem obvious, but the best way to ensure that you don’t have to work on vacation is to get everything done before you leave. While it may be tempting to cut our early in order to go shopping for that perfect swimsuit or start packing, you’ll thank yourself later for putting a few extra hours in at the office before you leave. Use your last few days in the office finishing up projects, preparing your colleagues for your departure, and establishing ground rules for contacting you on vacation. 
  2. Turn On Your Out of Office Message
    Right before you clock out for the last time, make sure you set your Out of Office message so people contacting you know when you are and are not available. If possible, leave the name and email of your boss or colleague so those emailing you have an alternative contact should an emergency arise. Making sure this message is specific with departure and return dates will ensure that others know you’re unavailable for a certain amount of time and buy you some time to reply once you’re back to work. Do the same with Slack, Workplace by Facebook, or any other collaboration tools your company uses. 
  3. Check Emails, But Not All the Time
    If you can, avoid your email for the entire vacation. If that’s not possible, remove your email client from your phone and give yourself thirty minutes each day to check in on your laptop. Only allowing a half hour will make you focus on the email that requires your immediate attention and leave everything else for when you return. Remember, the more you respond to email, the more available people will think you are. 
  4. Use Video Conferencing to Quickly Handle Matters
    If an emergency arises, it can be tempting to spend your entire day emailing back-and-forth to take care of it. However, this requires you to be connected to your phone or laptop and ruins your vacation. Plus, there’s no Wi-Fi available at the beach. Avoid this situation by using your favorite video meetings platform to discuss the issue face-to-face and resolve it quickly. With video, audio, and screensharing capabilities, a meetings platform like BlueJeans ensures that you can handle the emergency and get back to what is really important—fun in the sun. 
  5. Relax and Destress 
    The whole point of taking your vacation is to get away from your everyday responsibilities and enjoy yourself, so make sure you do that. Most of your emails, messages, and projects can wait until you return to the office. Make the conscious decision to enjoy the moment with your family and spend time doing what you want to do so you can return to the office recharged. Your family, your colleagues, and your body will all thank you for taking time away from work to relax and destress. 

No one really wants to work on vacation, but sometimes it is unavoidable. Stay on the good side of your family, and spend as much time enjoying yourself as possible, by only doing what you need to do and only doing it when it’s absolutely necessary.

Have other best practices for working while on vacation? Leave them in the comments below!

About the Author

Jade Hill

Jade Hill is the Content Marketing Manager at BlueJeans and runs the BlueJeans Resource Hub. She graduated from the University of Chicago and spent years working in higher education before transitioning to the world of digital marketing. When not writing blog posts or customer stories, Jade enjoys hiking with her dogs, reading, and exploring the California coast.

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