It’s holiday season and whilst this is often a lovely opportunity for time away it can also bring with it challenges that can impact our work life balance.

It’s the time of year when we often try to juggle taking time off from work as well as fitting in other responsibilities, for some its children off work or other people in your team being off so you need to cover their roles. On top of which you may be trying to hit deadlines before taking time off yourself. You may also have to deal with extra visitors at home which, if you work from home, may impact your office location or hours.

Are you willing or needing to work on holiday?

When you do go on that long awaited holiday one important thing to consider is whether you would be willing or need to do any work when you are on holiday? Long gone are the days when no one at work could contact you when you were on holiday – who else is old enough like me to remember the pre-internet and mobile phone days of working?!

Think about:

  • What would be acceptable to you if work or clients need to contact you whilst you are away, eg a set time of day for you to review and respond to emails/ messages. Remember to stick to this unless something urgent comes up as you don’t want to send mixed messages/ get people used to you responding
  • If you don’t want any contact can you turn off notifications for work emails etc so you can’t see them and set out of office notifications to manage other people’s expectations, where can people go to in your absence?
  • Don’t forget to communicate with the rest of your holiday group to manage their expectations

Looking at your boundaries when you work from home

If you work from home and are going to have more people in the house than normal remember to agree boundaries with them. When can you be interrupted, what hours you will be working, where you will be working.

Getting help

If you have a team that’s great, but if it’s your own business or you have a stand alone role how do you deal with cover? Is there someone else you could do a cover share with, ie they take calls and help out during your absence and vice versa. Be sure to be clear about yours and their expectations during this time.

Getting back into work after holidays

Make sure you allow yourself time to get back into the swing of work on your return from holidays and don’t over promise to colleagues or clients. Give yourself some buffer time to allow your mindset to return but also to deal with anything unexpected that may have cropped up whilst you were away.

Think about what has worked for you in the past, where can you get help?