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Six steps to using technology to help make your holiday more relaxing

1. Have a personal policy

Before you go away give yourself a personal policy as to what your attitude towards work-related stuff will be while you’re out of the office. If you get 100 emails a day you know that you will spend the first few days back at work sifting through them, so make things more relaxed all round by allocating a few minutes to go through your inbox each morning and evening.

Know in advance what is going to be deleted, what will be able to wait until you are back at your desk, and what is likely to be urgent, so that you are able to relax while you are away knowing that anything important has been dealt with, and what you are going to have to work on while your tan is fading.

This also applies to phone calls – who will you answer? Give yourself an internal ‘yes’ list to that question.

2. Be disciplined

Once you have your personal policy in place, stick to it. Don’t go beyond your allocated time for emails or surreptitiously surfing for news, information and office gossip on the sly next to the swimming pool. Don’t answer the phone to someone you said you were not going to answer; make it clear on your voicemail and out-of-office autoreply that you are away and who to contact instead.

Get your emails done and put the phone down, or use it for what it was intended for, namely music, photos and funny videos of cats on YouTube.

3. Trust your team

Have faith in the people you work with, or who work for you, to keep things running while you are away.

It is really important for morale that people know that they can be trusted. They will have more ownership and engagement with their work and will develop into better staff members as a result.

Someone in the office will have your number if they need to get hold of you, and make sure that they know that they can contact you if there is an urgent question or if a crisis arises. After all, you don’t want to be walking back into a storm that could have been prevented by a simple phone call.

4. Have access to everything you need on your device

Just in case you do need to do something work related that extends beyond replying to an email or text message make sure that your smartphone, tablet or laptop has access to all of the information and documents that you might need to manage a crisis while you’re away from your desk.

Microsoft packages such as SharePoint and OneDrive give you access to your documents, whether you are using a work computer or your own tablet or smartphone. Plus we can set up your devices to partition your work and personal information so that if you happen to mislay your phone or tablet then data can be deleted remotely from your office.

Having the knowledge that you can deal with a crisis in the unlikely event of it cropping up will make your time away all the more relaxing.

5. Be honest with your family

Your family wants you to be switched on to them, not switched on to work. Be open and honest with what you are going to be doing each day and when. If you are going to give yourself 30 minutes a day on your email tell them and make yourself accountable if you go over that time needlessly.

Your partner and children might not want you to be doing work while you are away from the office, but they will understand if it helps you relax by doing a couple of bits and pieces here or there. Don’t hide away or be secret; all this does is encourage tension to build and spoil what should be an enjoyable time.

6. Don’t call it ‘annual leave’ on your voicemail or autoreplies

You’re out of the office. You’re on holiday. You’ve earned your time away. It’s not ‘annual leave’, which makes it sound like someone has reluctantly let you loose from the shackles that tie you to your desk. Semantics are sub-consciously important, so make sure that your holiday is exactly that – holiday, not work in the sun.

Have fun this summer!​

About the author

Fuse

Fuse is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, based in Northampton. We help organisations of all sizes to maximise IT efficiencies through the use of Microsoft cloud computing solutions.

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