Four steps to setting effective work boundaries for your next vacation
My team has started to send a “meeting” invite to each other as soon as we plan our leave. Just an all-day invite titled “Name - Leave.” Then we know when we’ll be covering for each other, if someone has flexible plans/hasn’t booked their stuff yet then the days OOO can be deconflicted (when it makes sense), and we all get the earliest heads up possible without having to try to remember to tell everyone at the end of staff meeting. It also gives us a reminder as we’re then planning future meetings to avoid X days because this critical person is gone. It’s worked out great! (Side note, on Outlook always make these all-day invites show attendees as “free” or everyone will show as “busy” the whole day for someone else’s leave. And turn off the 15 minute calendar reminder too!)
Extra day off (in whatever form possible) is so incredibly helpful! Coming back on Tuesday AND not feeling like you are drowning makes the vacation vibes linger way longer.
I have employed this and can say it really works and it’s awesome! Everything will truly be fine.
To echo/add to your point on coworkers pushing back, remind them they should take time off in this fashion too and that you’re totally supportive. It’s hard to argue with that!
As I am preparing for vacation next week - the first real vacation I've had in 2 years - your post is right on time! Thankfully, I have a great boss who has already told the rest of the team that I'm not to be bothered! I am also returning a day early to ease into the weekend and have a day off at home, before tackling my tasks on the weekend.
Regarding email, I've held a good boundary for myself for many years. I reserve one hour on the afternoon before I return to check work email. I delete junk and "info only" emails, file away emails into personal folders if they don't require action, and flag emails that will require some action when I get back. Then, I still hold a few hours the morning I return to address the flagged emails. I don't always get through them all before the other items of the day begin to creep in, but I find it helps me get prepared for what I'm about to walk into on my first day, and lessen the stress of the unknown! 😊
My coworkers have ALWAYS texted and called me when I’m off, and I always felt tremendous pressure to be available because my bosses set that precedent. I got a new boss and asked her directly what her expectations were when out of office after I got called about 12 times on a day I was home with strep. She told me I didn’t have to answer and I’ve never looked back. Now I tell people I will be unavailable tomorrow. If you need anything please let me know today by 2 so I can assist because I will not be responding to any texts or calls tomorrow. I thought I’d get a lot of pushback but I didn’t. It’s been great.
I have historically been good about this and proud that I hold my boundaries around this. Thanks as always for the deep dive into detailed scenarios!
This is such a good reminder. There are so many of us who do not allow ourselves to actually take vacations. Thank you!