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The summer holiday – essential respite from a busy job

20 Dec . min read

Well, here we are almost at the end of another work year - and what a year it has been! 2021 certainly was reminiscent of 2020 with lockdowns, the need for people to work remotely, lots of uncertainty and for many bucket loads of stress.

We’ve seen leaders nearing burnout this year. They’ve pulled up their bootstraps and provided their people with remarkable stability through some really testing times over the past two years, but it’s starting to take its toll. While they might have a wealth of talent and experience, many have taken on the management of additional physical and operational tasks, as well as supporting mental health challenges of their teams, as part of their day job. It’s a precarious balancing act, and its unsustainable over the long term.

You might have reached the end of the year exhausted. Maybe you’re burnt out. That’s why it’s important to get some rest and relaxation while we can because we know that 2022 is shaping up to be another year where we just don’t know what to expect.

We’ve all heard stories of people who are meant to be on leave, constantly checking their work emails, dialling in for meetings and generally acting like they’ve never left the office. The time for that to stop is now. Leaders and colleagues should be calling that behaviour out and making sure that people who are on leave step away from the keyboard. More importantly, we should be sending a clear message - if you take leave, you are on leave.

Just as high-performance athletes have rest as an essential component of their training programme, leaders need that too. Rest enables previous training effort to be absorbed by the body so that the athlete can improve. And that’s a philosophy that should carry into the workplace.

Here are some tips to help you relax and enjoy a holiday, free from the distractions of work.

  • Delegate your role, or key aspects
  • Trust your colleagues to handle things when you are gone
  • Let colleagues and special customers know you won’t be available and who they can contact in your absence
  • Switch off - use your out of office assistant to let people know you are away, when you’ll be back, and who can help
  • Set boundaries - don’t look at emails or your work phone
  • If switching off is not possible – limit intrusions to 30 mins twice a day
  • Eat well and move your body
  • Make rest an essential part of your schedule – 365 days a year
  • Recognise the benefit of down time for your future productivity
  • Enjoy yourself – do what makes you happy
  • And most of all, don’t feel guilty!
Having a fantastic holiday, free from workplace distraction, means you and your team will return from leave re-energised and ready to face whatever comes your way.

From me and my team to you and yours, Meri Kirihimete. We wish you and your whānau a relaxing and enjoyable festive season and look forward to working with you in 2022.

Chris O’Reilly

Chris co-founded AskYourTeam as a way to make it easier for leaders to ask their teams the most important (and the least-asked) question in business: “How can I help you do your job better?”

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