Connect with us

Forbes Business News

How Your Whole Team (Including You) Can Truly Unplug And Enjoy The Holidays This Year

Published

on

As the holidays quickly approach, it’s almost time for you and your team to set your “out of office” auto-replies and get some well-deserved rest and relaxation. However, this is easier said than done when many professionals continually feel the need to be productive.

This feeling of not doing enough and needing to be “always on” can lead to guilt about taking time off and will keep you from enjoying a much-needed break. To help your company avoid this issue, eight Young Entrepreneur Council members shared some tips to help you and your team truly unplug and enjoy the holidays.

1. Change Your Company Culture

Unfortunately, if constructs like “guilt” or “workaholic” are part of your company culture, it’s going to take months if not years to change into a culture of “balance” or “self-care.” Culture is modeled in thousands of moments, words, policies and interactions. Consider shifting your culture into a more balanced one with a 12- to 24-month plan that outlines specific inputs and policies that can change the culture with consistent action and demonstrations during that time frame. You’ll know the culture is changing when others on the team demonstrate the behaviors you’re seeking to instill. – Beck Bamberger, BAM Communications

2. Lead By Example

The key to enjoying the holidays without feeling the need to be “always on” or guilty about taking time off is to lead by example and communicate expectations clearly. When the CEO and the rest of the leadership team unplug when on vacation, other staff members feel permission to do the same. Studies have shown the importance of disconnecting from work. Employees return feeling refreshed and ready to perform their best. For many, around the holidays is an optimal time to take time off, as friends and family gather. – Thomas Smale, FE International

3. Institute An Annual Shutdown Period

We instituted an annual shutdown period a few years ago that allows all team members, including managers and the leadership team, to take time off and not have to worry about work for a couple of weeks. It is an opportunity for everyone to take time to rest and relax. With everyone off, nobody has any pressure of covering for colleagues. It is communicated to all clients so the expectation is set that we will be away, and clients are extremely understanding. Creating this clearly defined downtime gives everyone the opportunity to recharge! – Zane Stevens, Protea Financial

4. Be Realistic

It’s so important to not overstretch yourself or your team during the holidays. Yes, unfortunately this time of year comes with extra demands on your business and extra activities outside of work, but how you choose to handle this load will set the foundation for the new year ahead. Would you rather start out more organized than ever before and with a clear mind, or stressed and spread too thin? The essential ingredient here is being realistic. Focus on key priorities and goals. Support your team by staying connected. Help them navigate any issues as they unfold, then encourage them to head home and enjoy their holidays. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker

5. Plan Ahead

Time to rest and recuperate is essential to be able to do a good job, and I do encourage taking time off from time to time. But to feel less stressed and guilty when doing so, I like to encourage my team to try and get ahead on work tasks before their vacation. When you’re not worrying about falling behind, it’s easier to relax and enjoy much-needed time off with family and friends. In addition, my team is also required to request time off for Q4 in September, so the leaders can plan ahead and make sure the operation doesn’t come to a standstill during the holidays. – Benjamin Rojas, All in One SEO

6. Change Your Mindset

Whether you’re an employee or employer, seeing vacations as guilty pleasures affects your performance negatively. You have to have the athlete’s mindset where rest is just as important as high-intensity training or performance. Taking a break or resting is part of working hard because hard work should be about output and not just the mechanics of being busy. When you begin to view your vacation as no different from working hard at the office, your rest becomes more meaningful and effective. You stop sneaking out to answer that phone call or check that email. You stop feeling guilty and instead you enjoy your vacation with the same righteous vigor that you approach your work. “Work hard, play hard” is a wholesome strategy to maintain high performance over a long period of time. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS

7. Be Intentional With Your Time

To enjoy the holidays without guilt, it’s important to put things into perspective. Even before you take the time off to spend how you’d like, understand that you’re using this time to rest and rejuvenate. It’s crucial to be intentional with how you spend your time, and this also goes for your time off. If you spend the entire time worrying, you’ll be overloaded with stress and anxiety until you get back. So learn how to enjoy the present moment where you’re at. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

8. Communicate With Your Customers

Holidays can create a lot of strain for leaders and employees alike due to an increase in demand for their products and services. If you’d like to spend time with family and have your team enjoy the holidays, you need to let your customers know that your business won’t be fully operational. Give your customers a heads up about days when your company will be closed or reducing hours. Be sure to craft a special message that details how customers can get in touch with you in case of an emergency, which should include the hours you’ll be open and any specific requests needed to do so. Educate staff on exactly what must get completed ahead of time so employees have ample prep time. With early communication and preparation, everyone can enjoy their holidays. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner