It’s been proven time and time again that taking a vacation from the office boosts productivity upon return, while also improving mental stability and overall happiness. Traveling with family and friends enriches those relationships while you create priceless memories. Tasting new foods and trekking through exotic lands can broaden your overall perspective on the world and life. If this much good can come from taking a few days off work, then why does Glassdoor report that 54% of Americans don’t use their vacation days? Perhaps, (if you are like me) it’s because you have a fear of missing out on that important deal falling through or that customer/client calling in and you missing that important phone call.
Call me a workaholic, but it’s getting harder and harder to unplug from the office even though there are hundreds of articles telling you that you should. I’ve had nightmares thinking about the huge deal I’ve worked 8+ months on needing a last minute quote or demo on the week I’m out of the office, and the fact I didn’t deliver cost me one of the biggest bonuses I would see that year. What I’m about to say is taboo, but I am going to go against the grain and tell you about the UC (Unified Communications) cheats that I use to stay up to date while out of the office. (gasp!)
Now, I want to reiterate how truly important it is to unplug, but when I’m on vacation, there is bound to be a time that I will open my email to just make sure the office hasn’t burst into flames.
One of the things I’m looking for in my inbox is a voicemail recording. With our Switchvox phone system, we have VM to email included. This is great because I can see who left the message, date and time, length of message and then decide if it’s worth listening to in the elevator ride up to my condo rental floor. At least by checking that voicemail I can know if that important client I’ve been working so hard to chase for months is interested or not. I can forward that message to a co-worker and have them follow up on my behalf. I may not be in the office, but with 2 button presses I am able to make sure that the customer gets their questions answered in a timely manner.
If you decide to take the high road and let it go while out of the office, then so be it! You clearly know how to vacation better than me (and more than half of America.) Switchvox has vacation call rules you can setup if you prefer to be more hands on with your projects. With these call rules in place you won’t have to worry about anyone else taking over your projects and your commissions while you are enjoying a few days to yourself.
Another quick UC hack I have with our Switchvox phone system is the ability to change my status from my mobile app. It’s more than just a quick status change for my coworkers to know that I’m on vacation and out of the office: it can control the voicemail greeting my callers hear when they dial me, and it can control where those callers are directed. So, if I am expecting that large deal to fall through any day now, and I’m on the beach or in the mountains enjoying time with the family, I can send my direct calls to a supervisor or a trusted co-worker that can attend to my client or customer in my absence. This way, they won’t get a voicemail greeting, and I can rest easier knowing that they spoke to an actual person. (I reserve this for the more sensitive accounts I know can’t wait for a few days.)
So, since statistics have proven that the majority of you are just like me, and you will be peeking at an email or checking a voicemail while vacationing this year, at least make your guilty check-in quick and productive. Using a few UC features while remote can ensure that you do stay up to date while out of the office. Hopefully knowing that everyone is A-OK, and that deal you’ve worked on closing for the last 8 months isn’t tanking during your absence, will allow you to finally relax and enjoy that vacation you’ve worked so hard for.