Should you read/answer work emails whilst you’re on holiday? That is a big question!!
Obviously, this depends on the employer and what you do as a career. If you think your employer might expect you to work out of hours or on holidays it is always best to get this clarified at the start of your employment. This will help avoid any confusion further down the line.
With increased usage of smart phones, we are technically available 24 hours a day, and with free hotel Wi-Fi making it virtually impossible to be completely free of the office. For some it is important to embrace the work-life balance and leave their laptop at home, whereas others find that impossible to manage.
You could completely ignore all emails whilst on annual leave and go cold turkey, but the thought of returning to work and having to sort through all those unanswered emails for some is more than they can bear and leaves them feeling very overwhelmed when they return to work. So, in order to relieve the amount of emails, a quick scan through everyday help to ease the mind.
If it is not compulsory for you to answer emails but you chose to, you could speak to your manager/director and explain that whilst you don’t have to, you will be checking your emails every now and then. This is so that they don’t expect you to deal with anything urgent whilst you’re on annual leave. All you’re doing is just setting some boundaries, that way you get to be on holiday and not worry about anything urgent and work know that if they need to know something or just want to keep you updated with things that they are not infringing on your time off.
This also ensures that if anything highly important does flag up you haven’t got the responsibility to handle it whilst your lying on your sun lounger next to the pool or sipping a cocktail.
Above all, remember that your holiday isn’t just somewhere else to work remotely. It’s a time to genuinely switch off, spend time with family, friends and make time for yourself.
That way when you do return to work you should be feeling refreshed and that you’ve taken time off and not just been out of the office. Always ensure that you have set your out of office and include contact details for those who will be covering for you. One good idea is to set some time aside on the first day back and prioritise which emails need to be dealt with first
Is one option better than the other? There isn’t a right or wrong answer, it’s all about managing expectations and setting boundaries.
How can The Wage Shop help?
Work life can be hard enough at times, so follow our tips and make the most of your annual leave or holiday in the sun. The Wage Shop are on hand to make sure you’re paid correctly, on time and manage all your tax and national insurance requirements. So, you can focus on relaxing and working on your tan.