Taking a Digital Disconnect to Recharge Your Wellbeing

Taking a Digital Disconnect

If you feel as though your work life and personal life are constantly connected, it might be time to take a digital disconnect during your next annual leave.

Are you taking full advantage of your annual leave? According to a new study by Glassdoor, it could be the case that workers in the UK aren’t making the most of their holiday entitlement. In fact, only 62% of UK employees take the full amount of leave offered to them by their employer, with 43% making use of between 91 – 100% of their allowance. And when taking annual leave, research founds that 23% of those on holiday still regularly checked their emails and 15% confessed to doing spates of work out of fear of falling behind on their return.

The Danger of Employees Returning to Work Poorly Rested

Figures released from The Office of National Statistics reveal that up to three million UK employees are likely to work more than 48 hours a week. This is a sharp rise of a quarter of a million compared to UK working habits studied since 2001. For employees, this level of overworking and the impulse to work even whilst on annual leave can be hugely detrimental to both creativity and productivity once returning to the workplace.

Taking a Digital Disconnect

If you find you regularly fall into the category of workers who regularly checks their emails and continues working whilst on annual leave, then here are a few guidelines on how you can take a digital disconnect to help you fully recharge whilst out of the office.

Set Up an Email Auto-Reply

The best way to remind yourself and others that you are on a break from the office is to set up an email auto-reply that states so. Doing so will likely remind those still at work that you are taking a well-earned rest from the workplace and shouldn’t be disturbed other than in an urgent situation. Ensure to include an emergency contact for someone else in the office or for your manager who can be contacted should any issues arise whilst you are out of the office.

Inform Your Colleagues of Your Upcoming Absence

It can sometimes be the case that someone won’t have read your email reply or checked the team calendar as to if you are on leave and will still try to contact you. Therefore, it can beneficial to tell your colleagues directly when you are going on your next spate of annual leave on the day before you start your holiday. For better piece of mind, you could also inform them if there are any important calls you may be expecting and attempt to complete your most important tasks before you head for the door.

Avoid Constantly Checking Your Phone and Electronic Devices

For a full digital disconnect during your annual leave, aim to avoid checking your phone or other electronic devices for work related emails and messages. If it’s important that you stay connected to going ons at work, then allocate yourself a certain time of day or a day on your holiday in which you can quickly check and reply to emails, missed phone calls and text messages.

Take a ‘Digital Detox’

However, if you aren’t required to keep checking in with the office, then you could consider taking advantage of a ‘digital detox’. Some holiday resorts and retreats can restrict WiFi access and encourage visitors to hand over their electronic devices into safe storage until their break has ended. If you find you can’t switch off fully, then this could prove to be the best way to take a digital disconnect and get some much-needed rest.

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Sam Rose

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