CXR Recommends: Why Must We Work So Hard Before Vacation?

What if we didn't need to stress before time off?

Picture this: The vacation you’ve planned for is almost here. The excitement of time off is palpable but also riddled with the stress of organizing your work ahead of time. What if there was a different way? 

A recent article from The Atlantic explores why there is often a pre-vacation rush of work and how leaders could lessen the burden on their employees. 

The reason for the pre-vacation work rush is layered. First, there’s the predominant culture in America (read: feeling guilty for taking vacation time). Then, there’s a psychological need to wrap up projects triggered by “an inner tension stemming from the need for closure.” 

Brad Aeon, a Professor of Change Management at the University of Quebec and an upcoming CXR guest Lecturer, also shared, “I think a big problem with the way work is set up is that it very often capitalizes on people’s tacit knowledge. If you were to leave and you were a key person in the company, your colleagues wouldn’t know how to deal with a particular situation.” 

What can leaders do? 

Setting the tone for your employees is essential. For example, if leaders can emphasize that vacation time is imperative despite any loss of productivity for themselves and employees, they can begin to shift the culture. 

Creating manuals or wikis for employee tasks could be a way to ease the pre-vacation rush. Also, being mindful of the tasks you’re assigning employees before their vacation helps reduce the stress before clocking out for vacation. After all, we should want our employees to rest and recharge during their time off.

To learn more:

Check out the complete source article for more advice on shifting your organization’s culture. Be sure to join us on August 18th for a CXR Lecture with Brad Aeon on Time Management. 

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Barb Ruess

Barb's career in marketing and branding started with one of the very first job boards and has been focused on career search/talent acquisition in one way or another ever since. She has worked with CXR practically since its beginning and wears many hats from meeting planner to communications to marketing strategy and more.

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