Successful Strategies for {Really} Being Out of Office

Hi Everyone!

Today I'm coming to you with a quick post, because I am packing and getting ready to go on a TWO-WEEK vacation. I am so excited. Hunter and I head off on our trip to England and Ireland this Friday and we are thrilled to be taking this adventure together.

As some of you may know, my family is originally from England, so other than my parents, myself, one cousin, one of my sisters and her two daughters, the rest of our family is spread throughout England, Scotland (and Africa).

I'm lucky enough to being seeing many of my family members for the second time in a year since many of them traveled to my wedding in December. Often we have to go two years without seeing each other, so I feel very grateful that we can make the trip this summer to spend some time with them. We will also be playing tourist in Ireland with trips to both Dublin and Galway. I will definitely do a trip recap when we return!

With that being said, I will be off of work and signed off from the blog and social media for the majority of the next two weeks. I am hoping to turn off with a little social media detox and a true "Out of Office" experience. More often than not, professionals take a vacation but don't ever truly disconnect from work.

Even I tend to gander at my email every few days on most trips, but I've put my foot down this time! Everyone deserves a break from work where they can really recharge, connect with family and friends, and enjoy life outside of work. And you should never feel guilty for taking a vacation and being unavailable during this time (I'll be writing a blog post on workplace guilt very soon).

Today, I'm sharing some of my strategies for really (yes, really) being out of office.


Successful Strategies for {Really} Being Out Of Office

  • Clean out your email inbox. Leaving with a clean slate whenever possible can help clear' your mind. You can even set a rule to have all of your emails go to a follow-up folder so you can get to them after you get back
  • Write a detailed and instructional out of office email.  If there are certain tasks or job duties you know people will email you about when you are out, make sure to give people instructions for how to find what they are looking for while you are away. I like to ask a team member or two in advance to help cover you and then put that person's contact information in your Out of Office message, so people can direct urgent questions or requests to them.
  • Take work email off of your mail app on your phone. I find it is far too tempting to get caught up on emails while you are away if they are just one click away. Removing your email account from the Mail app while you are out puts one extra step between you and your emails. You can always login through the web browser version if you did have to check on something.
  • Write a to-do list of everything you need to accomplish before you leave, as well as a to-do list for when you get back. I always find it helps me feel less stressed if I have a clear plan for what I want to complete leading up to my trip, as well as as a clear list of on-going responsibilities that help me pick up right where I left off after my trip.
  • Come back to work on a Friday. Shut yourself in your office, block your calendar so you don't have any meetings, grab a big cup of coffee, check your emails and get caught up. By doing this, Sunday and Monday of your first full week back won't be so scary!
  • Let people know in advance that you will be out of the office. Make sure to give people advanced notice, schedule important meetings before you go, send out any deliverables you are responsible for, and share any action items you would like to be worked on by your team while you are away. It is important to be prepared, communicate well and not leave anyone high and dry. Planning and communicating with your team members or clients can avoid any confusion or frustration and make sure you can truly check out on your vacation.
  • Be mindful of your time with your travel partner. Set shared expectations of when you will use technology, check email and browse social media, and keep each other accountable (i.e we can look at social media for 30 minutes before bed, on the plane, etc.)
  • Talk about your upcoming vacation with others (and definitely don't hide it). Be open with your co-workers about how excited you are for your vacation and being able to truly turn off. It is so common at work to talk about how busy everyone is, how late everyone stays up working, and checking email on vacation.
The more we normalize true work-life balance the more comfortable (and happy) everyone will feel.

I'll be back with regular programming the week of July 9.

Until then here are some posts you can catch up on!

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Recent Conference & Travel Posts

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Also make sure to follow me on Instagram to keep up to date with all of my latest blog content!

Across the pond I go!
👠



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