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Take a proper break this Christmas

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Take a proper break this Christmas

Many of us will take time off over Christmas but it can be very difficult to switch off, especially when technology has made it so easy for us to stay connected.

Research from Sabine Sonnentag, professor of organizational psychology at the University of Mannheim in Germany shows that disengaging from work makes us more resilient in the face of stress and more productive and engaged at work. Having some time off will reenergise you.

Here are our tips to make your break as relaxing as possible.

Christmas Work
  • Prepare

    Discuss your workload with colleagues; if the office is open whilst you are off find out who will be covering your work - it might be best to pass your work over to several people. Let clients know as early as possible that you are taking some time off and who they should ask for in your absence.

  • Set expectations

    Use the last day or two before your holiday to clear the decks, put ongoing work into a holding pattern, and update clients on the progress of their matter. Let people know whether you can be contacted, and under what circumstances - don’t say you will be checking email if you don’t want to, or will be unable to. We suggest leaving your work phone and laptop in a drawer at home so the temptation isn’t there.  It’s not a break if you are mentally still in the office, and you will be  better at your job if you return to work refreshed and well rested.

  • Checking email

    If you must check email whilst on annual leave, disable email notifications so you don’t pick up your phone every few minutes, and don’t carry your work phone around with you. You could ask a colleague to forward anything really urgent to your personal email address so you don’t need to look at all the other emails, or set certain times aside to check your inbox.

  • Out of office

    Set an out of office and voicemail while you are on holiday– if you are worried about an avalanche of emails on your return ask for important emails to be resent after you get back, or you might want to say you will be back a day or two later than you actually are to give you time to catch up.

  • Returning to work

    You might want to book in something in the first week back in January to look forward to, a yoga class or lunch with a colleague for example. Try to focus on what you love about your job and congratulate yourself for what you achieve during those first few days back. If the holiday blues don’t dissipate after a few days it might be time to think about your work life and whether it is making you unhappy. Perhaps you need to make some changes, or even look for a new role.

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