Who else finds taking time off extremely difficult during COVID?

Our vacation starts and ends in our workplace (aka our home). It’s easy to wake up, open up Slack, and 2 hours later realize this is no longer a vacation.

As a manager, I understand the benefits of taking time off. It lowers stress, improves mental health, and has a positive impact on productivity. Beyond those benefits, burnout is becoming a very serious concern during COVID.

So what’s the solution? How do we get our team to take time off and actually disconnect from work?

My suggestion?

Organization-wide vacation days. There’s no FOMO if no one is working!

Give everyone in the company a vacation at the same time.

If everyone is off at the same time, Slack will be a ghost town.

If everyone is off at the same time, there are no meetings.

If everyone is off at the same time, you can disconnect.

Tips

  • It only needs to be 1-2 days, a long weekend.
  • Don’t treat it as a surprise, give people time to plan how they are going to disconnect.
  • Set an email responder for the entire company letting external folks know that no one is available.
  • Plan escalation paths to make sure folks are notified if something goes wrong.
  • Make it clear (especially to your leaders) that it’s not an opportunity to catch up on work.