Summer Break Mistakes

We've heard of buyer's remorse, but vacation remorse? According to a new OfficeTeam survey, nearly four in ten (39 per cent) senior managers interviewed said taking too little time off was the biggest mistake they made with their last vacation. Not being able to get their mind off work came in second (17 per cent), followed by checking in with the office too much (16 per cent).
The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 300 senior managers in Canada.
Senior managers were asked, "Which of the following was the biggest mistake you made when you took your last vacation from work?" Their responses:
Didn't take enough time off          39%
Couldn't relax or get your mind off work          17%
Checked in with the office too much          16%
Didn't check in with the office enough           7%
Didn't prepare or organize your work well prior to leaving           11%
Don't know/no answer            10%
"Managers may be hesitant to take extended time off because they fear their absence will be a hardship on other staff," said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. "But a longer break can be a good opportunity to delegate projects to an employee who shows promise to see how that person manages while you're away."
OfficeTeam offers five tips for making the most of vacation time:
Time it right. Try to avoid scheduling vacations during busy periods. Make time-off requests early so others can plan ahead. Not sure how long of a break to take? Consider the length of your last vacation and whether or not you needed more time away to truly unwind.
Have a back-up plan. Determine who can handle your tasks and make decisions while you're out. Provide your stand-in with the necessary instructions and resources to get things done. Temporary professionals also can help keep projects on track during vacation season.
Spread the word. Let key contacts know when you'll be away and who has been assigned as your point person. Include the alternate contact's information on your voice mail and email notices.
Manage your calendar. Aim to keep your agenda open on the last few days before your vacation so you can focus on tying up loose ends. Also avoid scheduling too many meetings the day you return. This will give you time to check email, return calls and get updates from coworkers.
Set ground rules. Disconnect from work as much as possible when on vacation. Don't contact the office or look at your email unless it's necessary. If you must check in, set specific times you'll be available instead of being on call the entire time. The more you stay in touch with work, the less you'll be able to enjoy your break.

on June 27, 2014