Follow the different ways to stay connected without feeling the urge to work during a vacation.
Americans are increasingly leaving their vacation days unused, opting to continue working studiously through the entire year. However, those who do decide to take advantage of paid time off also bring at least one digital device with them on the road, resulting in travelers secretly checking work emails when you should be relaxing with your friends and family.
Whether you’re carrying a laptop, tablet, smartphone, or “phablet” (iPhone 6+ anyone?) on the trip, it’s become increasingly easier to stay connected during your travels. Today’s travelers, whether going for business or leisure, and now equipped with so many tools at their fingertips, from maps, travel planners, language translators, etc. It’s easy to get sucked into being able to access work anywhere in the world.
For those looking to unwind from the daily pressures of your job, this can put a damper on much-needed rest and relaxation time. So sit back, relax, and use these ways to stay connected without feeling the urge to work during a vacation.
Set Up a Game Plan with Your Team
Before your vacation, come up with a coverage plan or plan to travel during an off-peak time at work so you’ll be less inclined to check in with the team to see how they are doing. If necessary, designate a point person early on to cover your tasks while you are away and make sure you set up “out of office” messages to clearly state that you will be out of the office and that you will be available to respond to emails or voicemail after a certain date. As a last resort, put the information for a contact should anyone need “immediate assistance” – but make sure you ask that person first.
A tip from the travel experts at : make sure that your team enacts a “no email” policy during your vacation time – meaning only copying you in on emails that you need to know about but leaving you completely off the email chain if they do not require any action from you.
Restrict Access to Work Emails and Voicemails on All Devices
The next step is to keep your work emails and voicemails from showing up on your devices so you can stay connected but not get bombarded with work-related correspondence. One way to do this is to set your phone to stop loading in new work emails – or better yet, remove the work email from your phone entirely (no account, no emails!).
If you plan on using your social media account to document your trip, such as Twitter or Facebook, try to “unfollow” posts on Facebook and “mute” users on Twitter so you’re not inundated with work-related messages.
Similarly, mute work-related text message conversations on your phone by using the “Do Not Disturb” function (if available). This will minimize how many times you hear your ringtone or feel the vibration of the phone in your back pocket – keeping you focused on your vacation and less on what is happening at work.
Coordinate your Tech Time
You may have the ability to always stay connected – but that doesn’t always mean you should. If you’re traveling with friends or family, designate a time where using your digital devices are allowed to surf the internet or access apps that require Wi-Fi or data to function (i.e. you need to access a map to determine your next destination).
Afterwards, turn your phone on Airplane mode to restrict calls, text messages, and to preserve battery life while you’re out and about with your travel companions. You’ll still be able to capture memories on your phone with the Camera, but you will be sending a clear signal to your companions that you are focused on the vacation.
It’s perfectly fine to stay connected when you’re on your vacation – but make it a vacation. Unwind, de-stress, and have a great time exploring the world. Your work and your emails will be there when you return.