As business owners we know it’s challenging to take time off. We don’t just run our businesses, we live them. Tsheets found that 14.8% take vacations more than twice each year and 27.6% are able to get away once a year. But 8.4% take a vacation less than once every 3 years, and another 8.4% never take a vacation. This is so despite the health benefits that vacations produce, including decreased heart disease, depression, and stress, and increased productivity.
The trick to being able to get away is planning, so here are some ideas to help you think positively about vacationing this summer.
Schedule your time off
Whether you want to take off a week or two or just a long weekend, block out your vacation days in advance. This will give you, and your staff, the time to arrange schedules and appointments. For example, consider giving key customers and clients a heads up about your being out of town during a certain period so you can work with them before or after this time to resolve any issues.
If summer is your busy season, then plan ahead for a vacation in another season when you things are slower for your business.
If problems or opportunities arise in your absence, who will handle them? This can be a co-owner or a key employee. If you work alone, be sure your customers or clients have access to someone else who can help them in case of an emergency.
Decide whether to disconnect
A study last year found that only 14% of business owners were able to unplug completely while on vacation, compared with 54% of workers. If you won’t be disconnecting entirely, then to maximize your real vacation time, plan to connect only part of the time. Some ideas:
- Vacation where connectivity is limited. Cruise ships, for example, don’t always have the best Internet connections and traveling out of the country requires special arrangements and added cost for cellphone access.
- Restrict employee contact with you to a set time during the day or only for emergencies.
- Review email for a limited time (say a half or one hour) and only respond to critical communications.
- Leave laptops behind so you’re not tempted to work while away.
The ideas for planning your personal time off apply with equal force to planning for your staff. Coordinate employee vacation days, consider using temps to fill in, and review your vacation pay policies.