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Out of Office On? How To Switch Off From Work

It’s what you’ve been waiting for. The clock strikes and it’s finally time to commence your annual leave!

However switching off completely can be difficult if you’re the type of person who checks your emails even from home. 

Since the pandemic and a rise in working from home, this flexibility has blurred the boundaries between work and personal time. 

However, in order to look after your wellbeing, it’s important to step away from your work responsibilities during your time off. The “always available” culture can have dramatic consequences on your physical and mental health. 

According to a survey by travel experts, Tots to Travel, Brits take an average of 46 hours and 42 minutes to feel relaxed on holiday which is understandable if you’re someone with a busy lifestyle. If your brain is programmed to be switched on, it can take a few days for the brain to go into relaxation mode. 

With this said, here are our 4 favourite ways to switch off from work during annual leave.


Delegate your workload during annual leave

If you like to be in control or you have particularly complicated responsibilities, the idea of a colleague overseeing your workload might cause you concern.

However, you won’t truly be able to switch off from work if you are keeping an eye on what’s going on in the office. 

To make things easier, you might decide to delegate your workload to more than one person,  based on their skill set and day to day role. 

You could ask a senior member of staff to support those completing your workload by overseeing the delegated jobs. 

Be sure to train your colleagues accordingly and leave them a clear hand over so you can switch off knowing everything will be looked after! 

It’s important to remember that the company won’t collapse just because you’re having a week in the sun! 


Log out of your work email on personal devices

It can be tempting to check your work emails on holiday - just to see what is happening in the office!

However, this can distract your brain from your annual leave and even tempt you to start working.

If there are any critical emails which need to be actioned immediately, it’s fairly likely that your colleagues will be able to get hold of you to inform you of this. 

Logging out of work emails on your personal devices may help you to resist the temptation and allow you to get on with enjoying your annual leave.


Tidy away your work equipment if you are working from home

As a result of the pandemic, many employers have allowed their employees to continue working from home either fully or on a hybrid model.

Whilst there are many benefits to this, the constant reminder of work in your own home can make it difficult to switch off. 

When commencing your annual leave, we’d recommend that you tidy as much of it away as possible to avoid your brain wandering onto the thought of work.

If your working from home setup is confined to a single room, we’d recommend that you shut the door on it and keep it closed until your annual leave is over.


Plan fun things to do with your time off

If you have time off work but don’t have a holiday booked, it’s still important to use your annual leave wisely so you can return to work feeling like you have had a break.

Going for long walks, reading a book which you’ve been putting off for ages or catching up with family and friends are great ways to fill your time.  

If you’re feeling more adventurous, why not explore your local area? The National Trust is a great place to start - think ancient woods, dramatic clifftops, wild parklands, trails and landscaped gardens. You'll be spoilt for choice! 

Filling your days off with plenty to do is the perfect way to distract yourself from work!