Vacation, leave, time off

Whether you are a workaholic, or someone how enjoys balancing work and life equally, everyone is legally entitled to vacation leave and time for rest.

This year, with almost half of the national holidays falling on weekends, employees are entitled to 240 hours of leave.

With the first national holiday approaching, even if the feast of St Paul’s Shipwreck is falling a Saturday, how can a CEO use the extra day of leave for a vacation?

Here are five ways how CEOs and other executives can make sure they enjoy some well-deserved time off, without the guilt of leaving work behind.

1) Plan ahead

This might be a no-brainer to many, however, with lots of leave hours to be used, many employees might also take the opportunity to take extended vacations or scatter leave on random days across the year.

In this case, planning ahead might prove to be fruitful not only for you to choose the most convenient days for you but also for administrative purposes.

Planning ahead will also give the next person in line some breathing space to prepare, make strategic plans, as well as close off their calendar for other plans to ensure that the transition between the leader and the replacement is seamless.

2) Issue a test run

A nice trip to an exotic destination is certainly one that would require a number of days off the grid. But before leaving high and dry for a two-week break, a test-run would ease worries on both you as an executive and on other employees.

Taking two days off from work can be ideal in seeing how the situation evolves around you. It will also give you an idea how the person in charge is doing without your input.

Additionally, such an exercise gives you an opportunity to build trust in your team to be able to take more responsibility when needs be.

3) Delegate and delay

Having a deadline close to your vacation time is definitely not ideal. At the same time, if you have multiple projects going on all year round then you cannot delay your time off, as this might lead to burnout. Instead, make a list to assess which deadlines require more attention.

Prior to leaving for vacation, use that list to delegate tasks according to deadlines to make sure that even though you’re not present, responsibilities are still met. Whenever a task cannot be delegated and will clash with your relaxation schedule, then consider responsibly delaying for a few days. Alternatively, go the opposite direction and complete the task way in advance so it will be ready to go.

4) Block time for preparation

Many have found it useful to keep their schedule light on days leading up to vacation. These days are scheduled only for preparation and to tie up loose ends, delegate work and go through expectations, deadlines and everyday to-do lists.

The same applies for when one returns to the office. Some tend to dedicate a catch-up day to decrease the chances of being overwhelmed by emails and work.

5) Post-vacation analysis

Now that you’re back at the office and had time to catch up, dedicate an hour or two to speak to your team and go through what happened in your absence. Ask whether there were any issues that should be tackled urgently, about how tasks were handled by respective members of the team or what could have been done differently next time.

This way, the team will feel more at ease the next time you’re away whilst also showing employees that you care about their well-being, even if you aren’t at the office.

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