The sun won't stop moving when you take a day off from work. Why battle yourself and be guilty? Whatever the reason is, emergency or just the need for a vacation, planning your breaks will make your work better.
Sometimes taking a day from work may sound like you are giving up your country to assailants. But it should never be that way. The worry of leaving your work to pile up for a day or leaving issues, clients, or fellow colleagues unattended can make you guilty before you take your day off.
But since it’s unavoidable, here are some tips for planning your day-offs without having to worry or being guilty about it.
Understand your work schedule
It is back-to-school season, your workplace has a sale offer for kids and you choose to take a day off! Come on. Unless it is an emergency, do not just take a day off without putting your work schedule in mind. Know when it’s a busy season or a hectic day when your presence will be much needed at work.
This is why you need to make a work plan to help you know the periods when reports are required, audit schedules, orders are up to the roof, or clients are just flooding in. It will give you peace of mind knowing when to take or not take a day off from work.
When you are handling a supervisory role, it is important that you leave your team with a clear flow of work while you are away. If there is an urgent activity that you might not be able to handle, delegate it to someone who will do it on your behalf. This also helps the continuity of work as you take your day off, it will save you a long list of missed calls as well.
Do not overdo it
“I will be off on Thursday.”
Two days after Thursday, “I will be off tomorrow”
One week later, “I will not make it to work today”
If you keep this habit up, you are bound to feel guilty every time you take a day off. Being off from time to time shows how inconsistent and unreliable you are. Who wants that from an employee? No one. In case you have multiple things to do that need you to take off a day or two, plan well. You can shoot two birds with one stone. Are these things in different intervals or can you do them both at the same time? If yes, then take a day off and get all that done.
For instance, if you’re taking your children back to school on the same day, on your way home, pick those documents from a friend, schedule an evening hair appointment as well, and before you know it, you have finished everything on your plate. This way, you’ll return to work with a more relaxed mind.
Weigh your options
“Do I really have to go?”
“Can I do this on the weekend?”
“Can I take the other day off instead?”
All these questions are important before you take that day off from work. If you do not ask yourself these questions before your day off you will be guilty about it.
“In many cases, I always look through my public holidays in the month before I schedule a day off.
If there is something I want to do but it can wait, then I will choose my public holidays. When I am to take a day off at work, I want to rest or it is an emergency.”- Arthur, Engineer.
Ask and inform earlier
Asking your direct manager or informing your team about your plan to take a day off will save you a lot of guilt. It is easy to plan your work schedule and get a work colleague to sit in for you. Asking earlier will actually help your colleagues plan better as well. Do not just disappear and expect someone else to do your work. Not that the company will collapse without you, but it shows discipline to communicate on time.
For workplaces where a department has more than two staff members, you will need to ask earlier so that the rest plan their day-offs as well. You can take advantage of the Google vacation responder to keep those who reach out to you informed that you are out of the office. Do not forget to attach alternative contacts that can give the same assistance.
Keep up to date
When you take a day off, follow up on what happened while you were away. This will help you know which task to prioritize and where to start when you come back. Keeping up to date would mean staying in contact with your team and supervisors. I am aware of the “no-phone” policy when you are out on a long holiday, but spare some time to sneak through your emails and know what is happening. You do not want to return to work when the aliens have taken it over.
Alternatively, when you return, ask your colleagues to give you an update. Do not just walk up to your desk and sit. Arrange a meeting with your team and get an update on what happened when you were away.
Be available when you can
For crucial positions in the company, you cannot afford just to be off. It is vital that you allow your team to reach you in case of an emergency. Work needs to continue. Therefore, allow your team to reach you either by email or phone call. You can give a desirable time when you can be available so that you attend to critical issues.
The Labour Act of Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, and other countries allow employees to have a given period of rest. This means that you are entitled to have a day off. However, do not misuse this privilege. Put these tips in place and have nothing to worry about at all.