Out of Office: How to Actually Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

July 10, 2019


With summer in full swing, vacation is on the minds – and calendars – of most of us. So much so, it’s one of the three most important benefits professionals want when considering a new job.

Nearly 75% of professionals would turn down a job offer if the vacation policy didn’t meet their expectations, according to new LinkedIn research released today. Regardless, nearly half (46%) of professionals admit to not taking all their vacation time last year, pointing to reasons like having too much work (38%) or not having anyone to fill in for them (28%).

And what about those who do put on their OOO? Almost two-thirds of professionals admit to checking in while they are away, with 82% of Gen Zers emailing or taking calls while on vacation. 

So, going into the rest of the summer, how do you ensure you give yourself a needed break? Here are a few ideas...

Lend a hand to your work BFF. Your colleagues are there to help you – a team is a team for a reason. If your group isn’t structured where you have support staff built-in, consider tapping a colleague and plan to cover for each other when it’s time to unplug.

Schedule, schedule, schedule. Plan ahead and talk to your manager about a good time to take a break. Lay the groundwork well in advance that you’ll be taking time off, and ensure that you also plan key projects and timelines around your time away. Don’t leave yourself in a position to have to panic the day before a break. 

Hold back the urge to hit send. You likely have access to your inbox no matter where you are in the world, but prepare yourself to not chime in while you are away. Because you’ve prepped your team in advance, know that they’re briefed on your ongoing projects and empowered to make decisions. In fact, chiming in with a one-off email will probably create more work for them. No need to delete your Outlook app all together, but consider turning off notifications so you’re not alerted every time you get an email. 

Micro-cation it! If you really cannot get away for an extended break this summer, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun and relaxation altogether. In fact, consider scheduling a few long weekends in a place that makes you feel like you’re really getting away.

In fact, According to new research from Allianz Global Assistance, 51% of Americans haven’t taken a vacation in over a year, with one-third taking their last vacation more than two years ago.

Still not sure you can truly break away at your current job? Perhaps you should consider a move to a company with a culture that encourages employees to use their PTO. With millions of jobs on LinkedIn, you’re certain to find a job with the right vacation policy and culture for you.

Methodology: The survey was conducted online for LinkedIn by Censuswide from June 20-24, 2019, amongst more than 1,000 working professionals, ages 18-74, across the U.S.