Published on December 20th, 2012 | by Business Authors0
Working While on Vacation: 10 Must-Follow Tips
Vacations used to mean time away from work spent with family and friends. It used to entail adventures frolicking on the beach, hiking in a secluded area, or skiing down a mountain.
That was then; this is now.
With smartphones and Wi-Fi, more of the workforce is expected to be accessible during any time away from the office, whether it’s for a dentist appointment or vacation.
While working while in a Waikiki hotel could be worse, it’s still important that you take the time to enjoy your vacation… and don’t work it away.
Here are 10 tips to achieving the work-vacation balance:
1. Tell co-workers and those with whom you come in contact regularly when and where you are heading. Be up front and explain that you are on vacation, which will (hopefully) curtail any must-have meetings or conference calls.
2. Set check-in times before departure. If you’re not required to be accessible 24 hours a day, keep your phone or laptop in your hotel room while out with your family. Check your voicemail and email once or twice a day at a previously agreed upon time.
3. Double-check the hotel or lodging area to ensure that it offers free Wi-Fi or Internet service 24 hours a day. Know where it is located, whether it’s in each room, the lobby, or a specific office area in the hotel.
4. Triple-check your luggage. Remember to bring any hardware necessary to connect to the Internet, any paper information or presentations, jump drives, portable mouse, etc.
5. Carve out specific times when work will be completed. If child care is necessary, iron out the details in advance with a fellow vacationer or see if the hotel offers a children’s program. Now, you won’t be interrupted and your kids won’t be bored hanging out in the hotel room while you work.
6. Bring your sense of humor. Work will interrupt play and vice versa. There’s no way to avoid children talking during an office conference call or a work call during play time.
7. Create a to-do list before arriving at your destination. Realize that you are not working a 40- or 50-hour work week. Vacation is meant to be downtime, so make sure to give yourself a break.
8. Set your out-of-office autoreply and keep it up, regardless of whether you are checking email. Those who can wait for a response until after you return will appreciate the heads up that you are away until a certain date. Offer a day that the person can expect a reply.
9. Squash the tendency to check in with the office or have emails load automatically on your smartphone. If you can’t resist, stash the phone in your room. Enjoy your family…the work can wait until the previously designated check-in time.
10. Hash out compensation. Most salaried employees and those in management will not be compensated. However, it’s worth talking it over with your supervisor. (Even if that means receiving an extra day off.)
All in all, working during a vacation can be successful if planned appropriately in advance. Giving your family and friends the heads up that you must check in with the office or take care of a few things is an appreciated courtesy, as well. The drive to excel doesn’t disappear with a week off, but the need to unplug and relax is necessary for all people. Finding that balance between work life and home life is difficult during a regular week, let alone a vacation week. When boundaries are set, all parties are on the same page.
About the Author: Laura Burkey is a freelancer who writes on various topics, including parenting, online security, and small business.
Image by Rob Wallace / Flickr