When most professionals burn the candle at both ends, they often muse about taking a vacation. The problem is, even if we know some time away from the workplace will do us some good, many people hesitate to schedule the time, causing them to feel unhappy at work.
In fact, one recent survey showed only about half of all employees actually use all of the vacation leave they earned, and the number of workers choosing to forgo time away is on the rise. But not taking time off has consequences, like feeling unhappy at work. Here’s what you need to know.
Why We Skip Vacations
In most cases, employees don’t use their leave for one reason: Fear. Usually, this revolves around concerns about falling behind at work, or that they won’t be perceived as a team player since they chose to take some time for themselves.
But having some downtime is important for both morale and long-term productivity, as feeling trapped at work can easily become disheartening. Plus, never stepping away from your duties can lead to burnout, affecting the quality of your work and your overall wellbeing.
How to Get Over Your Fear
If you’ve fallen into the habit of not using all your vacation days, there are things you can do to make yourself more comfortable with the idea. First, try to schedule a short vacation instead of one that lasts for a week or more. Start with a long weekend and see how it goes, then consider a longer vacation once you are more confident in your ability to be away.
Another approach that can alleviate many of the anxieties associated with being away is to team up with another co-worker, or a few, and create plans for covering each other’s duties. This can include pre-vacation meetings, giving you an opportunity to discuss critical projects and must-dos, as well as training one another to provide the needed coverage.
You also need to control any urges to check in at work by preparing in advance. For example, informing customers in advance about your absence, as well as who they can reach out to should they need assistance, is a great start. Also, if you absolutely must touch base at work, limit these communications to specific times, unless an actual emergency occurs.
Finally, make sure your workspace is clean and organized before you leave on vacation. This step reduces the amount of stress you may feel when you return to work, essentially giving you a fresh start.
By using the tips above, you can make the most of your vacation while feeling confident that everything is being handled properly while you are away. That way, you can relax and recharge during your time off, making you a better employee upon your return.
If you are interested in learning more or are seeking a new position, the professionals at The Advance Group can help. Contact us today to see how our expertise can benefit you and stop you from feeling unhappy at work.