It’s mid-June, less than a week away from the official start of summer and more than a few weeks since the “unofficial” start. A time when many of us are taking a vacation or planning one for later in the summer. At least you should be according to experts.
There is no doubt that great value comes from re-charging, re-focusing, re-juvenating, re-invigorating, re-energizing, re-etc., yourself with a significant amount of time to relax, unwind and get away from it all; or at least from the office. Oftentimes a long weekend is just not long enough.
A recent article on Accounting Web cited results from an Accountemps survey. A third of the respondents feel they don’t get enough vacation time, while more than half said they have shortened or even skipped vacations because they were concerned about their workload.
Even more telling is how the vacation time you do take is spent. Nearly half of all respondents checked in with the office once or twice a week. While more than a third of Millennials check in once or twice a day. Among the recommendations – in addition to actually taking vacation time – is to disconnect from the office and put your work worries aside. But not all of us do that.
Perhaps even a sabbatical is in your future? The summer issue of CPA IN Perspective will include an article about sabbaticals for executives written by past INCPAS Chair Anita Sherman. She discusses the benefits for your management team, other employees, customers and vendors.
I saw a cousin of mine the other day who I rarely see, and she told me she’s on sabbatical until January! Now that sounds like fun, but maybe a little extreme for those of us in and around the CPA profession (she’s an assistant nursing professor at an Indiana college). But even if it’s just six weeks, it could be a game-changer both for you and your office.
I’m guilty of not taking an extended vacation (more than two consecutive days) for over a year. I’ve taken some random days off, but most of those days are filled with my sons’ baseball games or tournaments, appointments, housework or yardwork. I haven’t taken a true vacation – i.e., a beach was involved – since April 2015. That’s not that long ago, but it may be a long time before the next one.
It used to be that spring break was our week for a getaway. But as long as my sons play baseball at their high school (could be five more years), we will have conflicts during spring break week. Summer is filled with travel baseball tournaments, so there is no time for a true vacation then either. Same with the holidays due to basketball season and family obligations.
Now, don’t feel sorry for me because I am taking a week off in July, but it will be for a combination of two baseball tournaments first in Atlanta for my older son, and then in Myrtle Beach, S.C., for my younger son. I’m sure that will be a fun trip and I’m looking forward to it, but it will certainly be more exhausting than relaxing. And I’m not even playing!
And even when I am away, I’m not very disconnected. Elise May on my staff told me she counted 231 emails I’ve sent her from my iPhone (code for when I’m out of the office) since January. Now some of those were from days I was at Society events or other off-site meetings. But many of them are from weekends, holidays or vacation days.
The message here is, take your allotted vacation time if you possibly can (it can even be a staycation), schedule at least one chunk of consecutive days off (at least a week), and limit your phone calls and emails back to the office during that time. In the end, both you and your coworkers will be better off.