Do you take work with you on vacation?

Taking business on vacation is bad news all around.

Here’s how to keep your phone, but leave work behind.  

I am on vacation!!!

Vacation time leaves today’s professional with a tough problem—They want to get away from work, but they typically end up bringing it with them thanks to their work-related mobile devices. In today’s BYOD world, more people are taking their jobs with them on vacation, and that’s not good.

Vacations are necessary for both physical and mental health, however the good they do evaporates when the job comes along for the ride. Here’s how to make sure your mobile device doesn’t keep you tethered to the office.

Leave an Effective “Away Message.”

  • Email: Be thoughtful when setting up your email “away” message. You don’t want people to leave unnecessary information, or try to contact you some other way unless it’s an emergency. The typical email auto-reply will work: “I’ll be out of the office from [date] to [date], and will be reading my emails when I return.” Don’t say anything other than this. More information will only hurt your goals. For example, if you say that you’re going on vacation in your away message, many people will think their problem is more important than your rest.
  • Phone: When leaving away messages on your phone, style them after the email version. Speak the dates you’ll be away. You may want to mention that unless it’s very important, the caller shouldn’t leave a voice message and should state their needs via email or on your website.

This may not stop phone calls to your mobile device if your number is listed for business communications. If you use a service that routes business calls to your phone, ask about disabling it while you’re away so you don’t have to get the calls at all.

Have Someone Else Manage Your Emails

When possible, don’t open up your work email at all. If you may be getting important, must-answer emails, arrange to have someone else cover them for you.  You should probably switch important client accounts over to someone else, and email messages should be a part of this process. Newer tools like Outlook’s Group emails make this easier, since emails can be seen and managed by multiple people.

Need to Check In? Talk to Someone Directly.

If you still need to get reports about business while on vacation, don’t review them yourself. Instead, give that job to someone else, and call them when you absolutely have to. Let them decide what’s important to tell you so you don’t have to.

Turn Off Notifications on Your Phone and Computer.

Chances are good that you have a few important apps on your phone and computer that provide alerts when something significant occurs. As part of your vacation prep, go to settings and move through your notifications to see how many you can turn off. Switch off as many as possible and you’ll rest easier. This may mean disabling Microsoft Office 365 during your away time as well.

Note: Platforms like iOS make this “a breeze” with the Notifications tab.  It lists all app notifications in one place so they’re easy to find and change.

Turn Off Your Alarms

Do you use your phone to wake up?  A lot of busy people do. However, you probably want to sleep in on vacation. So, don’t forget to turn off your alarms and try waking up the natural way.

Don’t Take Your Phone with You

Sure, you can take your phone on vacation. But don’t take it everywhere. If you’re going to lay by the pool or walk on the beach you shouldn’t need your phone. Leave it behind: You can always depend on someone else’s phone in an emergency.

Mute and Hide Your Devices.

This is an easy and effective tactic. When you’re back in your the hotel room or vacation rental you may want to turn off the sound on your phone and put it away in a drawer.  A major part of stress associated with devices is due to their physical presence. Disabling the sound and hiding it away removes that stress. After the “itch” to take out your phone goes away, you can finally start enjoying your vacation.

Set Strict Goals for Time Spent on Devices.

If you’re more of a technical person, then check how much time you spend on your device each day. You can easily do this with applications like  Moment Screen-Time Tracker. Set a goal for lowering the time you spend on your device as each day goes by. This gives you something to work on, while spending more time enjoying your vacation—So, both parts of your brain win.

Block Calls for Specific Times

Software like Timetrade allows you to set time-based blocks on your phone to stop calls and other activity. This is a great solution when you need to take your phone somewhere, but you don’t want to be disturbed.

Need more info on how to manage your business from afar, or your digital time in general? We can help. CAT-TEC provides IT services for businesses in The GTA.  Give us a call (416) 840-6560 or send us an email {email}. 

Client Success

The Michaud Group

“I have an offsite assistant, and all of my files (drawer-upon-drawer of them) are now  available. The ability to load documents from the offsite location, and have them [available] for me exactly when I need them is the great benefit of the SaveYourData software,”

The Michaud Group