I have just been on holiday.
Actually, let me put that another way, I have been on “HOLIDAY”!
It was a holiday that warrants capital letters and one which frankly deserves an exclamation mark. It doesn’t deserve the capitals because it was some raucous two weeks of partying on a sun-drenched beach you understand, but rather because it was a real holiday.
When you run a business, or you are a manager, you tend not to actually take a break. What we often do is pay lip service to being on vacation. The problem with the modern office is that it tends to follow us around. The email on our mobiles, the temptation to glance at the diary, the laptop with the ‘easily finished’ spreadsheet forecast and so on all seem to lurk around with us waiting to soak up our precious relaxation time.
The odd thing is that when we are at work most of us treat things that take time from our workday as enemies. The chatty colleague or the temptation to check our personal messages and so on are something that we make efforts to avoid. When we go on holiday, however, we don’t seem to apply the inverse rule by making sure that we treat work as an intrusion on our vacation time.
There is a very good reason why a rest period is built into our contracts. Without regular relaxation time, we become less efficient. From personal experience, we recognise that when we need a break we lose concentration and make more mistakes. Not only is this something we all instinctively know, but it is backed up by research. In fact for some people overwork can actually result in health issues including stress, anxiety and even heart issues.
Scary thought isn’t it?
So this year I decided on a proper holiday. I refused to read the emails or get involved with work and my holiday reading wasn’t from the ‘business guide’ section of the Kindle store. There is a brilliant team here at Back Office Support Services, and they are perfectly capable of doing a fantastic job without me hassling them from my hotel room.
Now I am back I am firing on all cylinders again. I have started arriving early, pushing through my work, managing my time and generally being a lot more efficient that I had been – or at least it feels like it. I suppose I may well be just operating at the same efficiency but doing it with a bit more spring in my step. Either way, the holiday feeling is still with me and still making me feel good.
Not only that, but I have reminded myself that work can be fun as well as productive. It doesn’t really make a difference to my overall productivity if I have that morning cup of coffee sitting alone working at my desk or chatting with someone in the office, but it does make a difference to how nice my day is.
So, as the summer rolls out, I suggest you all do what I did; kick back for a while and let your hair down. We will be here to make sure your back office support is working well and trust me, the world will not come to an end because you are sitting by the pool with a good book. Not that you even need a pool. I have a friend who holidays at home, spending a week just indulging in everything they like to do, while staying firmly put in their own home. For them, it is just as good as a break on a tropical beach.
So each to their own, just as long as you occasionally do what the saying suggests and dance like there is nobody watching.