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Small Business Digest


With Stress Levels Mounting, Experts Urge Managers, Employees To Use Vacation Time

With stress at work increasing, advisors are suggesting that managers and workers should be taking vacation.

According to Ceridian Lifeworks, stress levels as measured by their efforts with employers have risen substantially since 2005.

The company provides health and wellness solutions to businesses and reports that its counseling and other services have risen substantially in the past three years.

Ceridian Lifeworks strongly suggests that managers and employers should be taking the vacations due them and offers the following tips for maximizing your vacation time, minimizing stress and returning to work in a better state of mind: 

  • Give it time. Usually, the feeling of being on vacation takes about 24 hours to really sink in. Plan, if possible, to take a full week or more whenever you can. You will be better and your employer will benefit from you being rested and fresh on the job.
  • Leave your business books at home. Unless you are real biz book junkie, avoid reading management books on the beach. Curl up with a good mystery or biography to help you think about topics other than work.
  • Get some sleep. Take advantage of the vacation time and turn off alarm clocks. Use them only to get out the door to do something fun and non-work related.
  • Plan ahead. To maximize your relaxation time, prepare itineraries, activities and travel plans before departing. Avoid wasting precious vacation time on booking hotels, boat trips and tours while traveling.
  • Set office contact rules. The “working vacation” seems to be America’s new favorite oxymoron. Don’t let it become yours. Tell people how to reach you, but be clear that they should call only in case of emergency.
  • Leave your Blackberry and laptop at home. If that’s not possible, shut them off and leave them in your hotel room when you are out enjoying a relaxing day by the pool or on a tour.
  • Throw your worries out the door. Vacation time can feel like it goes by twice as fast as a regular workweek. Remember that your job is about months and years of accomplishments. One week away won't hurt your career. In fact, it will help you come back refreshed and energized.
  • Anticipate dilemmas. Determine what might stress you out if it happened when you are away. Take proactive steps as far as a month in advance to help avert the unexpected.
  • Use vacation time earned. Do your best to use all of your allotted vacation days. Time off is given to employees as a job benefit. Take advantage of the opportunity for a little R&R.

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