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4 Tips to leave work stress behind while on holiday

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When I’m on a holiday I don’t turn on my phone data. This way I get a break from work email and avoid the temptation to scroll through social media.

Like any bad habit, removing temptation helps my brain forget about my phone and work while I’m out of the office.

Another good tip that I’ve noticed popping up in my inbox recently is to highlight in your out of office that you won’t be checking emails, but if it’s urgent to call your mobile.

It is very rare that someone will. This way you get to totally switch off from work, but are still available if something critical comes up.

With this in mind, and after figuring out one in five of us feels we have to check work email in order to relax, I asked a selection of my Cpl colleagues what helps them forget about work once they’re out of the office.

1. Ida Renaud, Head of Executive Search, Ardlinn

Ida Renaud, from Ardlinn, gets a colleague to switch her passwords and removes her email app from her phone home screen.

“Leave everything in order and for every project or client, have a dedicated person that they can talk to! Always tell your key contacts that you are going to be out and for how long.

Secondly, get a colleague to change your password and move email to the second screen on your phone. That way, you disconnect much quicker and are less tempted to check mails. If something is urgent, ask colleagues to text and then call them back.

Thirdly, leave the office the day you go on holidays with a list sent to your boss and colleagues of all activity and follow up required. That way, you can have peace of mind as if you’re leaving your desk for the weekend!”

2. Siobhan O’Shea, Cpl Client Services Director & Head of Diversity & Inclusion

Siobhan O’Shea admits it can be a challenge to completely switch off from work while on holidays. She believes knowing what works best for you is key and everyone will be unique in how they approach that balance.

“I still always check my emails but try to limit the number of times I do that per day and consciously not around my kids or husband so that they know I’m engaged and focused on them during our valuable time off together. My kids are growing up fast so this is a precious time that I won’t get back again. I am always delighted when I’m somewhere where the Wi-Fi is poor as it takes the decision completely out of my hands! “

3. Lisa Holt, Managing Director Cpl

Lisa Holt recommends spending time working hard before a holiday, so you can relax once you’re away.

“Get really organised before you go. Do a very strong handover and leave points of contact for escalating all issues. Turn off your email access but leave your mobile on your out of office for urgent issues.”

4. Richard Minchin, Cpl Office Support Director

Richard Minchin, director of Cpl Office Support, advises taking one long break each year – rather than a few mini-breaks, to adequately switch off.

“Taking all of your annual leave is so important and a couple of key tips that I would personally recommend would be: Plan ahead and take at least 1 break per quarter of the year. Days off here and there doesn’t work so give yourself the adequate time to “switch off”.

On a one week break you are only winding down by day 3-4 so I would highly recommend a 2-week break in the summertime. We live in a tech era where everything is instant so if you can switch off your email function on your phone and leave it all behind!”

If you want to forget about work when you’re on holidays follow the advice of our Cpl experts and plan ahead, switch off your email notifications and make sure your colleagues know what is expected of them by putting together a good holiday handover.

More than ever before experts are confirming taking a break is good for us and our careers in the long and short term. Take your annual leave, leave a strong handover and return to work more relaxed and stress-free.

For more advice like this visit our dedicated Career Advice Centre where you’ll find articles on everything from wellness at work to CV tips and trends from across all sectors in Ireland.

This article was originally written in 2017 and has since been updated.