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When You Need or Want to be Out of the Office
Even when you love your job, sometimes, you just need a break. Maybe it’s the sandy beaches, the rolling mountains, or a calm lake. Regardless of where you are, one thing is certain, when you’re away from work you do not want to be thinking about work. Furthermore, taking time away is actually good for your productivity!
So, how do you ensure your time out of the office makes your life better instead of worse?
Tips for When You Need or Want to be Out of the Office
1. Proactively Communicate Expectations
Before you leave for an extended period of time, let your coworkers, clients, or vendors know what you will and will not be able to do while away. If you cannot fully unplug, set certain times when you will be able to answer calls and emails and stick to those times!
Before you go off the grid, remind people when you will be gone and ask for any matters to be addressed before you leave. If there is another person who can handle matters in your absence, make sure to share their information with anyone who could need it before you leave. In whatever way you can, prepare others for your absence.
Many of us worry about placing burdens on others, especially when we are out of the office. The truth is, you should lean on your team when needed. Not only is it useful in your time of need, but you also help them to see they can do the same which creates a stronger work experience.
Before you head out, assign your mandatory weekly tasks to employees or coworkers to ensure business continuity. Ask someone to manage any physical items in your absence such as snail mail or in-office voicemails. Inform anyone acting as your proxy how to make decisions in your absence and when, if at all, to contact you during this time.
3. Lean on Technology
Once you have set clear expectations for your absence, you can use automation to reinforce and protect your plan. An automatic responder on your email and text messages is exceptional for communicating expectations at any time, in both a personal and professional setting.
Whether letting senders know you will ‘check your email once per day’ or that ‘Susan is the point of contact until you return’ can be a powerful practice. In addition to telling others what to expect from you while you are out of the office, this is a great way to reduce the perceived sense of urgency that many new emails or text messages can create for you.
It would also be wise to stop or reduce push notifications while you are away. The reality is you will sync your inbox or check your social media as soon as you have a spare second. It’s better for you to do this on your time instead of at the beckoning of your phone. The adjustments are simple to make and wildly effective. You will be surprised what you don’t miss, what can wait, and what you seek out on your own terms.
Remember, you deserve to take breaks and sometimes breaks in work cannot be avoided. Thankfully, you are more productive when you take breaks and time away from work doesn’t have to stop the wheels from turning. So, consider the step above to stop feeling anxiety when you take time for yourself and when you’re out of the office.
About the Author
Name: Samantha Lane
Professional Title: Keynote Speaker | Creator of Origami Day | Time Management Coach |
Bio: Samantha Lane is the creator of Origami Day and a sought-after time management coach and speaker. She helps others make the most of their lives through the power of planning.
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