When was your last vacation? No, not a work trip where you snuck in a massage or golf game, and not a trip where you annoyed your family and team members by constantly checking in with the office. When was the last time you really unplugged?
You deserve to use your hard-earned vacation days this summer. Unplugging is good for you, your business, and your team. And cloud-based business technology can help you do it.
However, unplugging is easier said than done for senior business leaders. Whether you're a C-suite executive or a business owner, it's hard to get away from the office. Even if the place doesn't fall apart without you, just thinking about how much work will pile up while you're away is enough to make vacation seem more stressful than relaxing.
Before you talk yourself out of a summer getaway, consider all the business reasons to take one. Here are just a few:
1. You Come Back More Productive
Sure, you'll have some catching up to do when you return, but with your renewed energy and focus, you'll get your work done more quickly. According to Project Time Off, a research organization that studies how Americans use (or don't use) vacation time, nearly two-thirds of people say their concentration and productivity at work improve when they take time off. In addition, 91 percent of senior business leaders believe their employees return from vacation recharged, renewed, and more efficient. Why wouldn't the same be true for those senior leaders?
2. You Inspire Your Team to Unplug
Unplugging is like exercising, eating vegetables, or doing anything else that's healthy. Even if you don't do it, you want people you care about to do it. That includes your team. Plus, there's the whole productivity boost thing.
However, one-third of business leaders rarely discuss the benefits of taking time off with their teams, according to the Project Time Off research, and 46 percent of leaders stay connected to the office when they're away, which can make employees think they should, too.
By taking time off and doing your best to disconnect, you tell your team it's okay to unplug sometimes, which is good for organizational productivity, company culture, and customer service, since well-rested people are just nicer.
3. You Empower Your Team
You need a break from work, and your team needs a break from you — not so they can goof off, but so they can prove they're up to the challenge of running things in your absence.
When you delegate a little responsibility — even if it's just while you're away — your employees feel more trusted and valued. As an added bonus, less work piles up while you're away, and you have fewer reasons to check in. As long as you trust your team members, you know they'll reach out if they really need you.
Why It's Easier to Vacation with a Cloud-Based Business
You know there are good reasons to unplug, but it can still be hard to relax when you're worried about everything that could go wrong in your absence.
Leaders with cloud-based business models can rest easier, since employees have all the information and tools they need to do their jobs (and yours). Much of the workflow is automated, anyway, and beacuse cloud solutions are typically managed by vendors, there are fewer IT fires to put out.
Just as importantly, with business cloud services, you're never unplugged unless you want to be. If you can completely disconnect from work the entire time you're on vacation, more power to you. However, if something comes up that you really need to address — or if not checking in makes you too anxious to relax — you can quickly log in to work tools from any internet-connected device and log back out just as quickly. When you've connected those tools via cloud integrations, you get things done even faster.
Cloud-based business phone systems make it possible to set rules about which calls ring through to your mobile phone while you're away and which get forwarded to someone else or your office voicemail. That way, you know your most important clients can reach you (if that's what you want), and you can designate one or two senior team members who are able to call you if there is a work emergency. If everyone else has to go to those people before dialing you, there's a greater chance your team will solve problems without dragging you into it. And you can just keep kicking back on the beach in peace.
Fall will be here before you know it. If you haven't already booked a summer vacation, what are you waiting for?
To learn more about how cloud-based business tools automate processes and improve team communications, connect with a Vonage Business consultant.