Less people are enjoying their annual leave entitlements from work due to “absence anxiety”.
That’s according to Dr Tara Logan Buckley, who told The Pat Kenny Show two out of every five people actually aren't taking their full annual leave entitlement every year.
“Absence anxiety is saying, ‘everything is going to go wrong while I'm away from my position’,” she said.
“Part of that is also when you are away, the stuff that you're going to return to: mountain of emails, overdue tasks that are just putting added pressure on you while you're away.”
Dr Logan Buckley said people will “snowball” to sending one email on holiday to constantly checking for updates.
Dr Logan Buckley said whether you’re self-employed or part of a team, you need to be “extremely boundaried”.
“The out-of-office reply needs to be boundaried,” she said. “It needs to have the times you’re away, the dates you’re away, who to contact in case of absenteeism [and] who to contact in case of emergency.”
She said someone could look at their emails “for a specific time of the day” for no more than 10 minutes.
“I would always say do this after close of business, particularly at nighttime so people can’t reply to you in that moment,” she said.
You should only reply to the emails that “cannot wait”, according to Dr Logan Buckley.
Dr Logan Buckley also recommended deleting all apps or turning off all notifications while on holiday where possible.
“If you're someone where you can delegate your tasks before you go to another employee, literally get everything off of that phone,” she said.
“It’s too simple to go in and click on, and then the second you do that, you're going to look at everything.”
Dr Logan Buckley said anyone who is anxious to switch off from work during holidays should gain some perspective on their work life.
“I remember being taught something years ago and it really stuck,” she said. “It was ‘you are completely replaceable’.”
“Sometimes, we put this pressure on ourselves that we're not replaceable, that everything is going to go so wrong when we're not there.”
She said if someone is worried another employee will do the job better while they’re on annual leave, they should try to be “rational”.
“Where is your actual evidence and your proof because if [someone else] was then why would you be in your role?” she said. “You’re also capable of doing your job.”
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