June 10, 2016
The explosion of digital devices means that we’re always connected to the office, wherever we might be. In a survey conducted by the Chartered Management Institute, only half of UK managers booked a summer holiday. While 35 percent put their annual holiday plans on hold, 69 percent of those not taking a holiday cited their workload as a reason why. Even for those taking some time off, 12 percent planned to check their email daily, 19 percent said they would check their mail most days, and 26 percent planned to check at least once or twice a week. In the US, the situation is the same; 61 percent of employees said that they planned to work during their break. 38 percent planned to spend time reading emails, 32 percent said they would access work-related documents while on holiday, 30 percent planned to take work phone calls, and 20 percent would complete work tasks if asked by a colleague, boss or client.
Taking a break and “disconnecting” from all things digital and work related is really important for productivity. Below are some tips for a digital detachment
- When someone has taken time off don’t bother them! Respect the schedules of your peers unless the matter is extremely urgent.
- Set up an auto-reply on your email. This might seem obvious but many of us don’t. This way, people who send you messages will approach someone else.
- Avoid constantly checking your devices while on holiday.If you absolutely have to remain connected to work whilst on holiday, allocate a specific day, or certain time of day when you will check and reply to emails, text messages and missed calls.
Indeed, many holiday retreats all over the world are now offering “digital detoxes”, where there is no Wi-Fi signal and visitors are encouraged to hand over their electronic devices. These retreats allow for relaxation and meditation.
Daily work breaks
It’s not just time off work that’s important – taking a proper lunch break every day is also beneficial. And by “proper” lunch break, we mean moving away from your desk or your office cubicle.
According to Forbes, incorporating an hour or half hour break into your daily work schedule can boost one’s energy levels, improve your mood, and provide additional morning motivation as you work towards your break.
Ciara McGrath is the Head of HR and Talent for the Instant Group. She is passionate about developing strong leadership capability and putting in place learning pathways to deliver high performance at all levels as well as future leaders.