Don’t Let Work Worries Cloud Your Holiday

IF you’re an owner manager or part of a senior management team charged with ensuring that your business can make its targets, support jobs and hopefully make a decent profit, a holiday may often be the last thing on your mind.

While the legal view cautions against working on holiday, the reality for those with such responsibilities is that it is often unavoidable. Competition for business, and even staying afloat, means extra pressure for everyone – and that means switching off entirely is a pipe dream for many.

August is traditionally the peak holiday season in the UK and Ireland but, according to a 2,500-strong poll recently commissioned by Regus, instead of resting, 39 per cent of employees will be working up to three hours each day while on holiday and 8 percent will be working more than three hours per day.

In addition, of those surveyed, 25 per cent declared that they would be operating on a slightly reduced “business as usual” while on their holiday.

Though it’s crucially important to make sure you relax so that you can return refreshed, recharged and ready to go on full charge once again, with essential decision-making responsibilities, that’s not easy for everyone.

So can today’s technology help bridge the gap between getting the rest you need and putting your mind at rest? It most definitely can.

Today’s workforce has never had more options available – and every employee can work from almost anywhere, permitting easy access to a range of communication tools, software, apps and access to documents and databases at any time they choose.

Cloud computing means it’s now possible for SMEs to harness the computing power and technology previously only available to big businesses with big budgets – so if you’ve access, and your business instinct tells you to keep an eye, intervene and issue instructions, you now have the easy means do that quickly so you can get back to your holiday.

The decision by Openreach to deactivate traditional PTSN (Public Switched Telephone Network) phone lines in 2025, that have carried conversations for over 100 years in favour of cloud-based Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) digitised sound means that very soon, everyone will be using the cloud – or risk not being connected at all.

That technology is already here and most of us are using it already through apps on our mobiles. WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger mean that we all have multiple ways to keep in touch and in all of these cases, your voice is sent cheaply over the internet.

Some of us are still old enough to remember being held at the mercy of extortionate hotel ‘landline’ rates to keep in touch and phone bills on checking out that would make your eyes water!

Above all, make sure you’re geared up for your holiday. Plan ahead beforehand. Advise your colleagues to contact you only when necessary. Make sure you record an out-of-office reply, check emails infrequently and limit the time you spend on your PC.

Check in with colleagues when you feel you need to clear your mind. For many people who want and need to feel in control, a holiday without some level of involvement at work can be hell – and that’s a fact of life for many in 2019. Thankfully, the cloud makes this much easier.

:: Eric Carson is director of Rainbow Communications and can be contacted via Rainbow Communications can also be followed on Twitter: @Rainbow_Comms