Roll Call PSA: Take Your Vacation
Posted at 10:29 a.m. on July 9
My colleague Jason Dick wrote in Roll Call’s After Dark Blog about the recent study that Americans aren’t taking as much vacation as they should. And the vacation we do take? We stay plugged in. We just love work that much.
From Roll Call’s After Dark:
The results of the report won’t be surprising to anyone in the American workforce. The United States is the only industrialized country that doesn’t guarantee paid vacation. Our vacation time pales in comparison to other wealthy countries, etc. This isn’t new. The new wrinkle is that, even for those of us fortunate enough to have paid time off, we’re not enjoying it.
Hill staff, in particular, can feel the extra strain of wanting to be connected. Staffers want to be indispensable, not miss anything, be there to advise the boss on a particularly tough vote or complicated issue. But guess what? Taking vacation and actually unwinding can make you a better staffer. You’ll return energized for your job, able to think more clearly and tackle tasks with a fresh perspective.
But how to do that? It’s not always as simple as turning the BlackBerry off. A few Hill Navigator tips on how to truly unwind on the vacations:
• Change your routine. Sleep late. Work out longer. Don’t work out at all. The bigger changes you can make to your daily activities, the more it will feel like vacation rather than a workday where you’re staying home.
• Put an out-of-office message up. Seriously. Outlook can be your friend. Explain when you’ll be back and how someone can handle a request or urgent matter while you’re out. This has the added effect of stymying the multiple email requests — people are less likely to email if they think they won’t get a response.
• Plan to be gone. Finish what you need before you head out and give your office a quick update on where your unfinished work stands. This will prevent the frantic email asking what happened to the constituent mail report or legislative memo that you were working on and no one can seem to find in your absence. This is why offices created shared drives.