The Employee Vacation: Your Help Is Needed

In our minds, a future vacation is often like a quiet oasis at the end of the rough desert of a busy year, beckoning from afar with visions of worry-free … (insert some activity here – beach-lounging, mountain-climbing, etc.) – till it’s actually vacation time. Then the oasis often turns to be not so quiet. And even if it is, that long-anticipated quietude has a lot looming over it – potential disruptions reaching all the way from the boss’ desk, or one’s own restless thoughts about the very work one is taking a break from. The question is – can something be done to make sure that long-awaited vacation is not just another source of stress?

Employees often think in great detail about their vacation plans — but not enough about how to minimize work-related stresses and office disruptions while away. And that additional stress from a poorly planned vacation can only impede their performance instead of giving it a boost, as intended. This is where you – a thoughtful manager – can help (not only the employee, but yourself and the company), by being proactive and asking all the necessary questions to make sure your people come back refreshed, for a true win-win. Planning ahead together will be well worth the effort when they’re back at work.

The recent installment of my Psychology Today blog offers some suggestions to employees on how to best plan a vacation, what to anticipate, and how to make sure things go smoothly at work when one’s away relaxing.

Among other things, one needs to:

• Be careful about one’s timing

• Cover bases at work

• Discuss and set the ground rules

Additionally, I suggest would-be vacationers read this article by writer Jacquelyn Smith (quoting yours truly, among other experts): How To Take A Stress-Free Vacation From Your Stressful Job. And start getting ready, truly ready for that long-due break.