Now Reading
How to Take a Vacation Without Feeling Guilty

How to Take a Vacation Without Feeling Guilty

The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot about how we work. Before the pandemic, 55% of companies were already offering work-from-home options. Since March, that number has doubled. This experiment showed many companies that remote work could reduce costs, improve productivity, and lower absenteeism.

Unfortunately, remote employees are left to figure out how to balance work and life on their own. One of the biggest problems is asking for time off.

It’s easy to feel guilty, but with a few tips and some reminders about the truth of your work-from-home situation, you can ask for time off without guilt.

woman drinking coffee during daylight
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio.

Remember That Working From Home is Still Working

One of the common lies we tell ourselves when we work remotely is that being at home “isn’t really work.” Sure, you can pet the dog while also attending a virtual meeting. But you are still working. For many busy professionals, working from home for months on end has become just as stressful as working in the office. Taking vacation time is vital, because even though you’re home all the time, you still need time to be completely off work so you can truly rest. You deserve a vacation to recharge just as much as you would if you were commuting.

Adjust Your View of Vacation

Another common reason people aren’t taking vacations right now is because they can’t travel. For some, taking time off when you can’t travel feels like a “waste” of valuable vacation time.

The truth is that the pandemic has lasted for months, and we aren’t sure when it will end. You can’t put off your vacation time indefinitely, or you will burn out.

The simple solution is to adjust your idea of what a vacation means. Just because you can’t travel doesn’t mean you can’t unplug, rejuvenate, and spend quality time with your family.

Consider taking a day or two off to recharge, rather than using a full week for a road trip. Or take a week to tackle a major home project. You can even use a few days for a streaming marathon of your favorite shows.

Whatever downtime means to you, take time off and make it happen. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel when you next log in to work.

Your Employer Wants You to Take Time Off

Another reason workers feel guilt when asking for time off is that they think their boss doesn’t want them to be gone, even for a couple of days.

In reality, that isn’t true. Many companies want their workers to take time off!

They realize that a few planned days off reduces burnout, improves productivity, and lowers the chance of you being ill and missing unplanned time. It’s much easier for them to work around a vacation than adjust to illness or low productivity.

Rested employees are happier and do better work. Also, an employee who takes time off a few days at a time throughout the year won’t put as much stress on the holidays or other often-requested vacation times.

If right now isn’t a great time to take time off, work with your employer to plan some downtime for yourself. Both you and your boss will be glad you did.

baby approaching men s black sunglasses
Photo by Biova Nakou.

Vacations Are Good For Your Health

Need more reasons to take a vacation? Employees who take regular time off are healthier, less stressed, have a better perspective on work and life overall, and may live longer.

You need family time to connect with your loved ones, even if you’re working from home. There’s a big difference between a quick smile and undivided attention.

Another significant benefit is that you might solve difficult problems more quickly. We tend to get our best ideas when our minds are at rest — in the shower, before bed, or during a vacation. Your mind is more creative when you’re not focused on work all the time.

Finally, you might find that taking time off helps you assist children who are adjusting to distance learning. You may be able to help with homework, handle technical problems, or just be present if they need to talk about how they feel.

Don’t Be Shy About Asking For Time Off

Vacations are a benefit for both you and your employer. Taking a few days off can refresh your mind and allow you to approach work with new, creative ideas.

Most workplaces have a standard way to request time off. If you can use it, do so. If you have to talk directly with your boss, phrase it as the win-win situation it is. Mention that you need to recharge so you can maintain your productivity and health.

© 2021 Black Business Guide. All Rights Reserved.