COVID-19 has forced many employees to work from home. And, if you happen to be one of the many employees, who are working from home for the first time, it is likely a daunting task. And if you happen to be a parent with kids-chances are, you are helping them with online learning, preparing meals for the family, and to top it off, you are also trying to complete work projects and remain productive.
Recent research has shown that the pandemic has made the average workday 48 minutes longer. A recent article by titled Time Off From Work Is Critical During The Pandemic by Ashira Prossack, contributor for ForbesWomen, offers some useful tips and, reads, in part:
The only way to take full advantage of a vacation is if you fully disconnect from work. Close out all of your browser tabs and open windows, put an out of office message on your email, and tidy up your workspace. Turn off notifications, alarms, and anything else that will tempt you to look at your work during vacation. This helps you mentally transition out of work mode and into vacation mode.
Prepare for your time off.
There’s nothing worse than coming back to a mountain of emails and playing catch up to with work that wasn’t done while you were away. Before your vacation, take a look at your workload. Figure out what can be done ahead of time and what can wait until you get back. If you’re in a leadership position be sure to delegate, but be mindful when assigning tasks to ensure that you aren’t overwhelming your team with too much work.
While a truly phone and email free vacation is the ultimate goal, the reality is sometimes you can only disconnect 90% of the time. Clearly communicate with your team about how and when you’ll be available, and try to keep communication to a minimum. If you know that you’ll need to check in on a project or respond to issues, be very conscious of limiting your time. Set a specific timeframe for when you’ll work and try your hardest not to exceed that time.
Bottomline: Working from home does not mean you should not take time off, because, for many employees, there is no separating between home and office, and as a result, they can risk burning out. In fact, researchthat taking time-off is an important predictor of our well-being and satisfaction with life- including our health. So, if you have some accrued paid sick or vacation days, this might be a good time to approach your boss and request that time-off.
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