How to Go off the Grid But Still Stay in Touch While on Vacation

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ParisYippee! It’s vacation time. But often times, even when
you are away from the office, the office still finds you. Technology–the Internet, smartphones, etc.–has made it easier for the office to contact you even while you are trying to relax.

“The ideal vacation would be a week completely isolated from work-related activities. However, if you have ever taken a vacation, then you know that this is highly unlikely,” says career advisor Erik Episcopo, hiring manager at Resume Genius. But you can plan ahead to make sure your vacation has minimal interruptions. “In order to keep everything from work organized while I’m away, I use a vacation email account,” says Episcopo. “This email is only given to co-workers that I work directly with and who may need to contact me in case of an emergency. Also, having one place to check in saves a ton of time. I don’t have to check multiple email accounts or collaboration tools to catch up on what’s going on in the office.”

Make sure your email indicates you are out of office with limited access to email. Set up the vacation auto-responder message and let your correspondents know that you may not check all the messages while you are away. Tell them when you will return and offer the email address of someone else in the office they can connect with.

Vacation time is also the time to delegate. So not to be tied to the office when you’re on the beach, delegate some of your responsibilities and projects to others. “Trust in your team and co-workers enough that nothing will go wrong,” digital/social strategist Mike Street of Burrell Communications points out. “You’ve trained them well and they can succeed while you are away. Leave a detailed plan of what needs to happen while you are away so your team can follow.”

If you must check in, set up a schedule so you won’t frustrate your fellow travelers.  Check your emails or voicemail, and call the office either before everyone wakes up or at bedtime. And don’t allot a lot of time to these tasks.

Now enjoy your vacation. “You won’t be able to be effective at your job if you are over-worked,” says Street. “Grab a drink, put your feet up and relax.”