Switching off over the festive season
The festive season has arrived, and we are just 2 weeks away from the big day itself!
Many businesses shut down, and depending on the industry you work in, you could be looking at a very nice 10-day extended break between Christmas and the New Year.
So why is it so important to switch off and give yourself a break from work? The benefits can include:
- Re-charging your batteries ready for year ahead
- Reduced stress and anxiety, whilst improving your mental health
- Maintain productivity when you are back at work in 2019
- Less sick leave throughout the coming year
- Creating great memories with your friends and family over the festive celebrations
So how do we actually enjoy the break and put work to the side for a change?
Diarise before your Christmas break the important things that require action before you finish for the year. What is urgent and what can wait till your return in January? Schedule these in to your calendar, set alerts and reminders to complete these by a certain date. Do not be afraid to ask for help if you feel your workload is too much, many offices find this time of the year the quietest time, so others could have the flexibility to support you and help you out.
Out of office
This feature from Microsoft Office is the ideal way to let people know that you are away from the office and for them not to expect a response to their email until you return. In your automated Out of Office, you should include:
- A ‘thank you’ for their email
- The dates you will be out of office, especially the date of your return
- Who they can contact should it be an emergency (if there isn’t a contact, then explain you will respond to their email on your return)
More info here: How to turn your Out of Office on.
Spread the word
Let your colleagues know that you will be off work for the period between Christmas and New Year so they are aware that you will not be responding to emails until your return. Chances are they will be in the same boat as you, but there are those people who find it impossible to switch off and find themselves sending emails on Christmas morning.
Keep your communications to an absolute minimum and make sure your Out Of Office goes to your internal contacts too.
Turn off your emails. It can be so easy to have a quick check at your work email account from your phone, but then you could get caught up in something and be lost for the next couple of hours on your emails.
Lead by example and try to refrain from messaging your colleagues, as they might be checking their emails too so will feel obliged to respond.
Use this extended period to recharge your batteries so you are motivated to come back in the new year, rejuvenated and ready for whatever 2019 has to offer you!