Thursday, July 29, 2010

10 Reasons to go on a Vacation

Guest post by Patty Azzarello:

As it is the summer, I thought I would share 10 of the many sound business reasons to go on vacation — in addition to the fact that you deserve it and are supposed to enjoy your life and have some fun…

1. Going on a vacation shows you are competent at your job because you can manage and plan enough to free up some time in your schedule, and not leave a festering mess in your absence. Not being able to take a vacation for years shows that your work and your team are so out of control that you can’t even be gone for a week.

2. No one is impressed that you have not had a vacation If you think your company, or your team appreciates your extra-work ethic, they don’t.

3. Your team is motivated from seeing that you support and allow people to have a life — as long as you don’t send them email every day! Set the expectation you will be generally out of touch. Arrange 1-2 check-in points if you can’t stand to let go entirely, but don’t just go somewhere else and keep working.

4. Your team gets more productive when you go away. You give them a break from worrying about all the things you throw in their way when they are trying to get their work done. After about 2 weeks they will miss you and need you again, but in the mean time their productivity will actually go up.

5. Being unavailable is an effective technique for developing people. It forces them to step up. Just be careful not to un-do everything they did in your absence just because it was different than the way you would have done it.

6. If something comes up in your work that you can’t avoid and you need to cancel your vacation, reschedule another one while you are canceling. This will minimize resentment and disappointment, give you something to look forward to… and ensure you don’t go too long without a vacation.

7. You will be more productive at work, if you step away from it and give your back-of-mind processes a chance to chew on things while you are otherwise in a good (or at least different!) mood.

8. You will realize that some of the things that you thought were important before your vacation don’t actually need to get done after all. When you step away, the most strategic things re-assert themselves and all the clutter drops several notches in volume.

9. Your company prefers people who enjoy their life because they have more positive energy to bring to their work.

10. You need a break whether you know it or not!

Patty Azzarello became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33. She ran a $1B software business at the age of 35 and became a CEO for the first time at the age of 39. Patty has held leadership roles in General Management, Marketing, Software Product Development and Sales, and has been successful in running large and small businesses.

Patty is the founder and CEO of Azzarello Group, that works with companies to execute their strategy, and develop their top talent.


michael cardus said...

Number 2 - no one is impressed has to be my favorite.
This myth in organizational life that the person with a pile of papers and works soo hard without taking a break or vacation is so important has to stop...
The people on the teams (especially leaders) who arrive at work on time and leave on time while still accomplishing goals and getting work done. Those are the heroes.

Vacations are great.

Anna Smith said...

"The people on the teams (especially leaders) who arrive at work on time and leave on time while still accomplishing goals and getting work done. Those are the heroes." - well said!

Batrus Hollweg said...

Enjoyed this post and totally agree that a break can make you an even better employee. Human capital is one of the number one things a successful business can focus on.

Dan McCarthy said...

Michael -
Agree, I love this post! I'm proud to say that I'm always home for dinner, have never had an unused vacation day, and rarely work weekends.

Anna -
Right! Thanks.

Batus -

Benjamin McCall said...

Vacation is always important!

Stephen said...

Great post. I especially find #8 to be true. We build so much stress in our own minds and sometimes it takes stepping away to realize priorities. # 10 is very true to... many of us do not realize we need a break until we take one. Thank you for a great reminder! I am going to link to your site from my blog.


Dan McCarthy said...

Ben -
sure is!

Stephen -

Unknown said...

Great post!! Number 7 always works, need to take your time to get new ideas, and refresh the mind.

Wish all bosses would think this way instead of threaten all employees that if they leave for too long they might not have a work to return to....

Dan McCarthy said...

Aaron -
Thanks. Ouch. What a jerk boss.

Mary K said...

Another reason to go on vacation is to demonstrate you're committed to professional development of your subordinates. As I tell others, I won't be in this position forever and it's up to me to help groom the next "occupiers" to assume the reins. It's a lot less stressful for the times when I'm inadvertently out of the office. Someone has a clue...

Dan McCarthy said...

Mary -
Right, even better if you're not checking emails 2-3 times a day.