Why you’ll never get my ‘out of office’
I don't set one and I don't feel the need to
The ‘Out of Office’ message… people take great pleasure in setting it and waltzing out of the office for some well earned days of rest and relaxation. Fair enough.
Why won’t you ever get one from me? Quite simply, I don’t set one and I don’t feel the need to.
For starters, I don’t have an office to be out of, as such. I’m a one man operation, supported by my smartphone, my laptop and my ever-patient wife.
But also, I don’t feel the need to disconnect completely from work in order to rest and relax… quite the opposite in fact.
I find that by keeping in touch with work while on vacation I’m able to stay more relaxed about what’s happening while I’m away. I have great teams around me, I trust them implicitly but I still like to know what’s happening. I never fully switch off.
I’m used to a certain style of working… I travel between the various businesses I’m involved with and pull up the closest chair I can find when I need to catch up. I conduct much of my business on the hop… twenty minutes in a cab here, 2 ½ hours on a plane there, an hour in an airport departure lounge… you get the idea.
There’s really no need to set an Out of Office if, like me, you’ve integrated work and personal life effectively and efficiently.
I like to keep up to date with work while I’m away and I can skim off the top of my emails while keeping tabs on what’s going on… that way I don’t have a huge depressing backlog of emails to file and action when I return from holiday.
What’s the point of spending the start of your holiday winding down from pre-holiday preparation and end of a holiday gearing up to deal with a mountain of catching up to do, if you can touch base throughout the holiday and spread the workload out into manageable chunks?
In business these days, you have to be in it to win it. News moves fast and technology has accelerated processes to such an extent that a two-week break completely disconnected could potentially see me miss out on a huge shift in industry, a big news event that affects one of my business concerns, or simply just a piece of news that I need to be kept abreast of and discuss with colleagues and associates.
Think about it, checking emails and news sites takes as much effort as reading a book or checking in on social media platforms. So why differentiate the two? You get out what you put in, so while you might be spending 20 minutes uploading an album of fun holiday photos to Facebook as you’re sat by the pool, you could also take 15 to 20 minutes to acknowledge some great work by a colleague, share an industry insight – or even just file a few emails to save the job when you’re “back to work”.
I’ve been talking about my new book “Live Love Work Prosper” a lot this year. In it, I talk in further depth about integrating work and personal life. When you find a job you love – or several in my case – the transition between the two is seamless and effortless. I promise once you read this book and take my advice you will conduct business and personal life harmoniously.
PS – I’m currently on safari in Kenya. Wish you were here!