Help your team to tackle out of office anxiety

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Booking a holiday is very exciting – but when time off rolls around, the reality of stepping away from work for a few days feels very stressful. Nearly three quarters (73%) of professionals feel more stressed during the run-up to taking time off than during an average day of work, Institute of Leadership & Management research has revealed. While 1 in 5 return more stressed than when they left. Out of office anxiety is a real problem!

How can your business help employees to take a vacation without causing themselves undue stress? We’ve got some ideas…

Set clear deadlines for submitting holiday requests

The less time people have to prepare for annual leave, the more stressful that preparation becomes. While you want to give employees the flexibility to take time off at short notice, setting a minimum notice period helps them – and you – make sure work doesn’t suffer during peak holiday periods.

By creating clear policies for making annual leave requests, your business can build in time for staff to notify colleagues and customers/clients about their upcoming vacation. And it also stops people from booking time off on a whim and then having to log on during their holiday because they’ve forgotten to do a proper handover document.

Make sure everyone knows who’s on annual leave

One of the reasons many professionals get pre-holiday anxiety is the idea of leaving their colleagues in the lurch. Most of us know first-hand how frustrating it is to message a team member about a task or try to set a meeting, only to receive their out of office reply.

Consolidating all your annual leave requests into a central online holiday calendar allows everyone in your workforce to see when someone’s off. Staff can plan tasks, projects and meetings around that time off – factoring in time either side to help their colleagues prepare and catch up.

Greater holiday calendar visibility also means that people don’t have big deadlines hanging over their heads when they’re away, so they find it easier to relax.

Reallocate tasks when staff are absent

Sometimes jobs can wait until someone gets back from holiday; other times they can’t. But responsibility for completing essential tasks shouldn’t fall to the people who are away.

60% of employees admit to checking their emails whilst on holiday – and seeing what’s happening in the office can be very stressful. Staff may also be contacted by team members or direct reports who aren’t sure who else to speak to in their absence.

The easiest way to relieve out of office anxiety without compromising on productivity is to reallocate tasks to colleagues when someone is on annual leave. While this increases their workload temporarily, there will be plenty of hands on deck to help them out when it’s their turn to take time off.

Stop out of office anxiety with WhosOff

It’s easy to think we’re all indispensable, but it’s easy to cover most roles for a couple of weeks; it’s usually poor planning that leads to out of office anxiety. And if your staff put pressure on themselves to keep up with work communications while they’re away, they’re not getting the rest and recouperation they need to return to work reenergised.

With a holiday management platform like WhosOff in place, your business can create transparent, centralised systems for coordinating time off. So staff have time to relax while their workload is adequately covered, and your company can still move forward at its usual pace.

Book your free WhosOff trial to manage work holiday online.

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By Tony Bushell

Title: Help your team to tackle out of office anxiety
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