There’s no denying it, the last two years have been rough. With lingering lockdowns and what felt like never-ending restrictions, not many of us enjoyed a much-need and well-earned holiday—and the result is impending burnout. Which is why the trend, ‘‘The Great Vacation” is gaining momentum around the world and it’s about to hit Australia as more workers combine flexible working hours with interstate and international holidays. That’s right, you can jet off to Fiji and do your job—it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
With a ‘working holiday’ quickly becoming the new norm in even the most corporate environments, we caught up with Alex Hattingh, Chief People Officer at people-management platform, Employment Hero, to find out the five golden rules you need to follow to get the most out of your trip—and stay in your boss's good books. So listen up, here’s how to nail a working holiday.
#1 Get The Right Technology In Place Before You Head Off
You may be used to working off your laptop or desktop when at home, but those may not be practical when you’re travelling. Perhaps your computer battery will die, or you’ll find yourself in a situation where there’s limited space (hello, airplane). This is the time to think ahead and upload/download the apps of the programs you use to your phone or tablet. While mobile sites exist, they’re often clunky and inefficient and can make it a nightmare to do the simplest tasks.
#2 Update Your Signature On Email
When heading to another timezone, it’s always a good idea to put in where you’re going, what time it will be there compared to your home country, and offer an alternate means of communication in case the internet conks out. While many holiday destinations will claim to have good internet access, if you're going somewhere remote or prone to weather disruption, it’s always a good idea to include a phone number—both your mobile and even the resort’s number (if you’re staying in one). And don’t forget the area code!
#3 Schedule Your Important Meetings At The Beginning Or End Of Day
Let’s face it; while you may be still working, the lure of a tropical hike, local festival, shopping or a beach walk will eventually win out. In order to make the most of those sweet travel moments, schedule your meetings at the beginning or end of the day to account for any day time exploring or long lunches. If you’re there with family or friends, there’s nothing more frustrating than watching them have fun while you’re glued to the screen, engaged in one meeting after the next.
It may even be worth getting up early each morning while your loved ones sleep (and the day hasn’t yet started) to take advantage of those quiet, uninterrupted hours to get the most done. You’ll be thanking yourself once midday—and cocktail hour—comes around!
#4 Make Sure You Keep Your Status And Calendar Updated
Work apps such as Slack are designed to help remote teams communicate in real time, so to avoid any misunderstanding and lagging, make sure to keep your status updated and clear about when you're actually receiving messages and are able to reply. There’s nothing more frustrating for colleagues who need to talk to you urgently, only to be left hanging for hours as you (understandably) enjoy the spoils of your beautiful new location.
Setting an alarm that reminds you to update your calendar each morning as well as your Slack signature will save you hours of unnecessary back and forth (and the stress of trying to find the internet in the middle of a jungle). Which brings us to the last point...
It may be a bit tough when all you want to do is switch off and sight-see, but taking the time to be extremely clear about when you’re available and when you’re not will save both you and your team/colleagues a lot of time and angst. And while it may look like overkill if you check, double check—even triple check—that everyone is aware of your availability, tasks and deadlines, it will be immensely helpful to others.
Start planning your working holiday with everything you need to know about overseas travel.
Image Credit: Urban List