Going off the grid is more difficult than it sounds, especially if you run a small business
Vacation is all about relaxing and getting away from it all, but how do you do that in today's incredibly inter-connected technological world? Going off the grid is more difficult than it sounds, especially if you run a small business or have a major event or task coming up at work. It takes some preparation to unplug successfully, but this guide will show you how to step away from work so you can actually enjoy your upcoming vacation.
Make a plan
You don't have to make a full transition plan like you would if you were retiring, but unplugging on vacation does call for a plan detailing who will take over your many roles. In your absence, employees should have clarity about who is in charge so they don't call you every time there is a problem. Choose one or a few people to fill in the tasks and jobs you perform, but make sure they are comfortable with the additional work before you leave. Delegating responsibilities will help you unplug and unwind while also enhancing trust among your employees.
Set ground rules
There is nothing more frustrating than having to climb out of the pool on vacation to answer an “urgent” email or phone call that turns out to be not urgent at all. Avoid these unnecessary interruptions by setting ground rules before you embark on your trip and sharing them with your colleagues.
If you truly want to unplug while away, tell your employees you trust them to produce results and that you will only deal with voicemails and emails once you are back in the office.
If you regularly have to deal with actual emergencies at work, talk to your team about the types of issues really require your attention during your absence.
Stick to the plan
Making a plan and setting ground rules is the easy part of disconnecting. Actually doing it is the tough part. If you can't force yourself to hit the ignore button when your cell phone rings, shut down the lines of communication by turning your phone off. Set an automatic response for your email, and consider leaving your laptop or smartphone at home.
Develop a re-engagement plan
All vacations have to end sometime, and you need to have a plan for re-engagement when yours is over and you are back in the office. Schedule time to sort through snail mail, voicemails and emails, and make time for briefings with the colleagues who took over some of your responsibilities. They can quickly get you caught up so it feels like you never left.