How to: Switch off from work when you go on holiday

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Taking holiday from work should mean time to relax and recuperate, however, for many, booking annual leave can cause stress and anxiety. To compensate, many of us continue to work whilst away, checking emails and picking up bits of work when we should be relaxing.

We commend anyone with such passion and care for their work, however, time away is so important for your health and wellbeing. If you’re not switching off you could end up burning out further down the line. Remember, a re-energized, alert worker is far more valuable to your team and your employer.

Read our tips below to find out how to switch off from work whilst you’re on holiday. Remember that by taking a break, you’ll be able to come back refreshed and revitalised, ready to tackle your work head on.

Plan ahead

As soon as you begin planning your holiday you need to start organising your plan of action for your pre-holiday workload. Whether it’s a week or two weeks that you’re taking off, you’ll need to schedule time in to complete any work you would usually do during those weeks. Small amounts of work over a longer period of time will cause you much less stress and avoid that awful backlog of work to come back to.

Be smart

Think about when your busiest time in work is, or, if you’re new to a job, ask about workloads and the flow throughout the year. With this information you can be smart with booking time off. Make life easier for yourself and choose a time when your workload isn’t at capacity and you’ll have time to prepare.


Talk to your co-workers and your managers as soon as possible. Have the conversation about your absence and manage their expectations of any work that may need to be completed in those weeks and any potential issues that may arise.

Switch off your phone

You may not have a simple off switch, but your phone does. Technology is such a huge part of our lives today, we’re constantly being interrupted and distracted by notifications. It’s become so easy to take work home or on holiday that many of us don’t even think of it as a problem. So turn off email notifications, or even turn off your phone and give your brain a fighting chance of switching off.

Do nothing

A study published in the journal Psychological Science suggests that sitting back and doing nothing can boost your skills, productivity and commitment. As simple as this sounds, it’s actually very difficult for many of us to fully switch off and do nothing. The most effective method is to practice mindfulness meditation. This can not only reduce stress but also help you recognise when your brain is straying away, allowing you to re-focus, or in this case, forget about work.

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