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10 Things You Should Not Do During Vacations From Work

10 Things You Should Not Do During Vacations From Work

When you take real vacations from work it is a sacred time. You’re spending time away from the office and relaxing. It’s a ritual millions of people follow every year because if you work constantly then you’d probably go totally insane. There are a lot of people who still get roped into doing stuff while on vacation so here is a small set of rules for when you’re on vacation.

1. Don’t answer any emails

There are few things on this planet that can derail a peaceful and relaxing day like getting an email from work. Usually if it comes to the point that you’re getting emails it means that there is a problem that they think only you can fix. Or (more likely) they don’t want to figure it out for themselves and would rather bother you on your time off. In either case you should not answer the email unless the words “life or death” are put in there and it’s literal. If you were supposed to be working you would be at work. You’re not because you’re on vacation. Put the laptop, phone, or tablet down and let them deal with it. Worst case scenario, you have to fix it when you come back to work next week.

2. Don’t be afraid to take your full vacation

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real vacations from work

    You cannot be fired for taking vacation time. According to a global survey, more than half of people don’t take their full vacation time. Of those that do, a measly 2% reported that they don’t interact with work at all. What kind of vacations are people taking these days? If the company didn’t want you to take a vacation then they wouldn’t give you vacation hours. Use your vacation time. That’s why you have it. For vacations!

    3. Don’t do any actual work

    We said earlier that you shouldn’t take any emails but we’re not stupid. If it’s a dire emergency or something that can be handled in a few minutes, you’re going to answer your emails anyway. If that happens then it happens. However, if you end up spending 6 hours on your laptop in your hotel room then you’re not on vacation. You’re working. There comes a point where you need to say “I’m on vacation and I’m sorry but someone else is going to have to handle this.” Don’t be rude about it but everyone knew you were going on vacation so they plenty of time to plan for your absence.

    4. Leave whatever city you live in

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    real vacations from work

      I know a number of people who take a vacation and then they don’t go anywhere. Sitting in the house (or apartment) for a week doing nothing is really just a really long day off. The point of a vacation is to get away from it all and enjoy yourself. It doesn’t have to be far. Take a 30 minute trip outside the city to go camping or drive a couple of hours to an amusement park. Something, anything to get you away from the stuff you see every day. Vacation isn’t just a break from work, it’s a break from life.

      5. Relieve yourself of the addicting work place

      You’re stressed out from work but there comes a certain warmth and joy from the job. Answering all those emails, getting work done, and those long nights at the office do have their benefits. You have a purpose and you feel important. The constant stimulus can be addicting. Being addicted to work is tough because most people who are addicted to work don’t even know it. If you would rather be at the office than drinking a beer and watching a sunset around a bonfire then there is something wrong. When you’re on vacation, try not to do things that remind you of work. If you sit in front of a computer screen, don’t go to Vegas and sit in front of a slot machine. That’s too similar to what you already do.

      6. Do something you’ve never done before

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      real vacations from work

        It can be anything. Have you ever tie dyed a t-shirt? Why not give that a shot? When you go on vacation, you’re forging new memories. It’s hard to do that if you don’t do anything out of your normal routine. If you drink beer and watch sports at home and then drink beer and watch sports on vacation then are you really going to find that vacation memorable? We talked earlier about going somewhere different so there are plenty of places around. When I was in Army Basic Training, my dad took a week long vacation to come down and see me when I graduated. We ended up going to a lot of different places including a restaurant that sold lizard. He didn’t much like the lizard but he did have a fun story to tell when he got home.

        7. Don’t spend the whole time in a phone or a laptop

        Just because you’re not using those devices for work doesn’t mean you should still be on them. Of course texting family or receiving calls are things you should still do but if you spent all that money and time getting to a ski resort only to sit in the main building, sip cocoa, and play the latest fad game (Swing Copters) then you’re doing it wrong. Those devices will be in your pocket or hotel room when you need them. Take a look around and enjoy your surroundings. Technology is great but technology is also always around. You’re not doing yourself any favors letting those LCD screens take up all of your time.

        8. Don’t talk yourself into hating your vacation

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        take real vacations from work

          You’ve probably seen a movie or two where someone is on vacation and they hate every second of it. Don’t be that person. If you’ve planned the trip and you’re on the flight then the deed has been done. Even if you don’t want to be on the vacation you should try to toss your worries aside and try to enjoy yourself. There is no use being negative over something you can’t fix so you might as well try to enjoy it!

          9. Don’t forge to splurge a little

          When I went on vacation to Cocoa Beach, Florida, I made it my mission in life to go find a Ron Jon Surf Shop and buy something. Why? Where I live (in Ohio), we don’t have a Ron Jon Surf Shop and buying something from them online felt like a cop out. I ended up buying a t-shirt and shorts but I ended up not tying the shorts when I went swimming in the ocean and the ocean took my shorts. As embarrassing of a story as that is, it’s something I can laugh about now and I still have that $30 t-shirt to help me remember that time Cocoa Beach ate my swimming trunks. By spending a few bucks and getting something nice from the place you go to, you have a commemorative decoration that will help remind you that there are things other than work.

          10. Enjoy yourself

          real vacations from work

            If you’re not enjoying yourself then your vacation was not successful. Go have a few drinks, go scuba diving, go read a book on a beach somewhere. Whatever you enjoy doing you should be doing. Don’t go somewhere or do something because it’s the socially accepted practice for vacations. If you like ice and snow, vacation to Alaska. If you want to go back to your hometown and visit your family then go do that. The point is that you should be relaxing, enjoying yourself, and no worrying about life.

            Featured photo credit: HQ Wallbase via hqwallbase.com

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            Joseph Hindy

            A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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            Published on November 12, 2020

            5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

            5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

            What’s the most draining, miserable job you’ve ever had? Maybe you had a supervisor with unrealistic demands about your work output and schedule. Or perhaps, you worked under a bullying boss who frequently lost his temper with you and your colleagues, creating a toxic work environment.

            Chances are, though, your terrible job experience was more all-encompassing than a negative experience with just one person. That’s because, in general, toxicity at work breeds an entire culture. Research shows abusive behavior by leaders can and often quickly spread through an entire organization.[1]

            Unfortunately, working in a toxic environment doesn’t just make it miserable to show up to the office (or a Zoom meeting). This type of culture can have lasting negative effects, taking a toll on mental and physical health and even affecting workers’ personal lives and relationships.[2]

            While it’s often all-encompassing, toxic culture isn’t always as blatant or clear-cut as abuse. Some of the evidence is more subtle—but it still warrants concern and action.

            Have a feeling that your workplace is a toxic environment? Here are 5 surefire signs to look for.

            1. People Often Say (or Imply) “That’s Not My Job”

            When I first launched my company, I had a very small team. And back then, we all wore a lot of hats, simply because we had to. My colleagues and I worked tirelessly together to build, troubleshoot, and market our product, and nobody complained (at least most of the time).

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            Because we were all in it together, with the same shared vision in mind, cooperation mattered so much more than job titles. Unfortunately, it’s not always that way.

            In some workplaces, people adhere to their job descriptions to a fault:

            • Need help with an accounting problem? Sorry, that’s not my job.
            • Oh, you spilled your coffee in the break room? Too bad, I’m working.
            • Can’t figure out the new software? Ask IT.

            While everyone has their own skillset—and time is often at a premium—cooperation is important in any workplace. An “it’s not my job” attitude is a sign of a toxic environment because it’s inherently selfish. It implies “I only care about me and what I have to get done” and that people aren’t concerned about the collective good or overall vision.[3] That type of perspective is not only bound to drain individual relationships; it also drains overall morale and productivity.

            2. There’s a Lack of Diversity

            Diversity is a vital part of a healthy work environment. We need the opinions and ideas of people who don’t see the world like us to move ahead. So, when leaders don’t prioritize diversity—or worse, they actively avoid it—I’m always suspicious about their character and values.

            Limiting your workforce to one type of person is bound to prevent organizations from growing healthily. But even if your work environment is diverse in general, the management might prevent diverse individuals from rising to leadership positions, which only misses the point of having a diverse work environment in the first place.

            Look around you. Who’s in leadership at your company? Who gets promotions and rewards most often? If the same type of people gets ahead while other individuals consistently get left behind, you might be working in a toxic environment.

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            However it manifests in your workplace, keep in mind that a lack of diversity is a tell-tale sign that “bias is rampant and the wrong things are valued.”[4]

            3. Feedback Isn’t Allowed

            Just as individual growth hinges on being open to criticism, an organization’s well-being depends on workers’ ability to air their concerns and ideas. If management actively stifles feedback from employees, you’re probably working in a toxic environment.

            But that definitely doesn’t mean nobody will air their feelings. One of the telltale signs of toxic leadership is when employees vent on the sidelines, out of management’s earshot. When I worked in a toxic environment, coworkers would often complain about higher-ups and company policies during work in private chats or after work hours.

            It’s normal to get frustrated at work. That’s just a part of having a job. What isn’t normal is when dissent isn’t a part of or discouraged in the workplace. A workplace culture that suppresses constructive feedback will not be successful in the long run. It’s a sign that leadership isn’t open to new ideas, and that they’re more concerned about their own well-being than the health of the organization as a whole.

            4. Quantifiable Measures Take Priority

            Sales numbers, timelines, bottom lines—these metrics are, of course, important signs of how things are going in any business. But great leaders know that true success isn’t always measurable or quantifiable. More meaningful factors like workplace satisfaction, teamwork, and personal growth all contribute to and sustain these metrics.

            Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, and they shouldn’t be the only concern. Measure-taking should always take a backseat to meaning-making—working together to contribute to a vision that improves people’s lives. If your workplace zones in on quantifiable measures of success, it’s probably not prioritizing what truly matters. And it’s probably also instilling a fear of failure among employees, which paralyzes employees instead of motivating them.

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            5. The Policies and Rules Are Inconsistent

            Every organization has its own set of unique policies and procedures. But often, unhealthy workplaces have inconsistent, unspoken “rules” that apply differently to different people. When one person gets in trouble for the same type of behavior that promotes another person, workers will feel like management plays favorites—which isn’t just unethical but also a quick way to drain morale and fuel tension in the office.[5] It only shows how incompetent the leadership is and indicates a toxic workplace.

            For example, maybe there’s no “set” rule about work hours, but your manager expects certain people or departments to show up at 8 am while other individuals tend to roll in at 9 or 10 am with no real consequences. If that’s the case, then it’s likely that your organization’s leadership is more concerned with controlling people and exerting power rather than the overall good of their employees.

            How to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment

            The first thing to know if you’re stuck in a toxic work environment is that you’re not stuck. While it’s ultimately the company’s responsibility to make positive changes that prevent harmful actions to employees, you also have an opportunity to speak up about your concerns—or, if necessary, depart the role altogether.

            If you suspect that you’re working in a toxic environment, think about how you can advocate for yourself. Start by raising your grievances about the culture in an appropriate setting, like a scheduled, one-on-one meeting with your supervisor.

            Can’t imagine sitting down with your supervisor to air those problems on your own? Form some solidarity with like-minded colleagues. Approaching management might feel less overwhelming when you have a “team” who shares your views.

            It doesn’t have to be an overtly confrontational discussion. Do your best to frame your concerns in a positive way by sharing with your supervisor that you want to be more productive at work, but certain problems sometimes get in the way.

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            Final Thoughts

            If your supervisor truly cares about the well-being of the organization, they will take your concerns seriously and actively take part in changing the toxic work environment into something more conducive to productivity.

            If not, then it might be time to consider the cost of the job on your well-being and personal life. Is it worth staying just for your resume’s sake? Or could you consider a “bridge” job that allows you to exhale for a bit, even if it doesn’t “move you ahead” the way you planned?

            It might not be the ideal situation, but your mental health and well-being are too important to ignore. And when you have the opportunity to refuel, you’ll be a far more valuable asset at whatever amazing job you land next.

            More Tips on Dealing With a Toxic Work Environment

            Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

            Reference

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