Get your staff to fully switch off while on holiday

Getting your staff to fully switch off while on holiday can be highly beneficial to your business. As luck would have it, we’ve got all the advice you need to ensure your staff are relaxed and recharging on their holidays.

Holidays are a mandatory part of working life, and most people love them. However, staff often feel under pressure to appear ‘present’, even while on holiday. The workaholics amongst us just can’t resist keeping one eye on proceedings, and there is always a big temptation to quickly check emails from time to time. While this stoic show of company loyalty might appear like a good thing on the surface, are they really helping your small business, or themselves?

The whole point of taking time off work is to, well, take time off work. It gives us all a chance to relax, reconnect with friends and family and generally de-stress. People that can fully relax while away from the office return bright, alert, fully motivated and ready to get stuck into any problem the world cares to throw in their direction. These are all things that are much harder to do when you're tired, exhausted or generally run down (and we won’t even get started on the health benefits of a good break).

So, how do you get your staff to switch off while on holiday?

Kill your email if you want to fully switch off while on holiday
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Kill the email

Encourage (or require) that your staff set up the ‘out of office’ feature in their email. It will let everyone that contacts them know that they’re away, which helps to manage expectations. It’s also sensible to include information about when they’ll be back and who to contact if they need a response quickly.

With that setup, make sure everyone knows that they are not expected to be checking their emails every 10 minutes while away. Some people will quite happily ignore their email the entire time, but others will be harder to convince. Encourage staff to leave the laptop at home and switch work email off on their phone while away.

Keep everyone in the loop

There are lots of other ways of contacting staff these days too. Chatting on Slack, calls on Skype or Hangouts, collaborative documents and so many others. Tablets and phones make it far too easy to reach someone, anywhere in the world. Great on a busy day, but it sucks if they’re on holiday. So make sure everyone in the team knows when someone is away and when they’ll be back. The right tools can help here. Team Absence makes it simple to see who’s off at any time, and can even publish booked time off for individuals, teams or the whole company, to your normal office calendar such as Outlook or Google Calendar.

Encourage staff to take time off

We’re all given a certain number of days off each year, so make sure your staff are making the most of it. Whilst not suitable for every company, some business are experimenting with offering unlimited time off or setting a minimum number of days off, instead of a maximum. Others are suggesting to staff that they need to take at least one break of a full week or more.

Whatever your annual leave policy is, make sure staff are actually getting some time off. Use your holiday booking system to warn you of any staff members that aren’t taking enough time off and speak to them about taking a break.

Make it simple to book time off

If your business has a complex or bureaucratic system for booking time off, it might be discouraging people. Make sure it is super simple for everyone to book time off. You’ll also need to ensure that managers can approve or decline requests without wasting a lot of their time too.

Build a healthy culture

It’s really important to take a positive approach to time off work. Make it part of your company culture, so your staff don’t have to feel guilty taking a day off once in awhile. Instead leave them with the feeling that they are recharging, ready to make a positive impact in everything they do as soon as they are back at their desk.

If you think your business would benefit from a simple HR solution that makes the booking and tracking time off super simple, then please get in touch or give our free 14-day trial a go. You’ll quickly be saving time and enjoying time off.

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