The workation concept makes most of us cringe — who really wants to join a conference call from the beach? Inevitably, the vacation you’ve been planning for six months is thrown out of whack thanks to a vital customer service call or project that just can’t succeed without you.
Here are seven tips for keeping your sanity and enjoying your vacation/workation.
1. Set the expectation before you go with your boss, customers and colleagues that you will be participating even though you’re on holiday. Give them your itinerary, a potential list of your available time slots and define limited expectations for engagement while on vacation.
2. Negotiate with your spouse and fellow adventurers on your work vs. play ratio. This will help mitigate the risks of eye rolling or drag-out fights on vacation (on both sides).
3. Schedule “busy” time slots in your Outlook calendar daily when you’re exploring a new city, playing golf or just lounging on the beach. This will help avoid getting calendar invites and calls when you’re out of WIFI pocket, while letting your colleagues know when you’re actually available to talk.
4. For us crazed BlackBerry obsessive-compulsives, schedule time to check your email. Once an hour? Once in the morning and once after lunch? Put this schedule in your Outlook Out-of-Office message so people know that you will respond within the next couple of hours.
5. Call your hotel beforehand to get the details on cellphone signal and internet in your room. Also ask them where the local hotspots are at a local coffee shop or bookstore in case you need to work for an hour while you’re out exploring. Download a hotspot locator app on your mobile device in case of emergency.
6. If you’re taking your laptop, sign up for an easy-to-use web conferencing or video conferencing tool that will let you connect face-to-face with your colleagues and even friends back home, minus downloads or lengthy log-in times in case you’re in a slow internet zone. Face-to-face meetings are more effective and less time consuming than the audio or email alternatives, so you’ll get more done in less time on vacation.
7. Don’t feel guilty and have some fun! For your sanity and overall success within your company, you must take leisure time to decompress and come back ready to work.
Do you have any additional tips for a successful workation to share? What’s your secret to success while tuning out but still feeling accountable? We’d love to hear your success stories on how you relaxed but connected on your last workation.