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10 Things You Should Not Do During Vacations From Work

10 Things You Should Not Do During Vacations From Work
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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

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          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 July 27, 2021

            15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

            15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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            During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

            But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

            Put the Pro in Professional

            After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

            1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

            The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

            Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

            2. Dress the Part

            While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

            Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

            For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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            Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

            3. Stage Your Workspace

            Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

            Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

            4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

            Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

            Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

            Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

            Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

            5. Arrive on Time

            In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

            Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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            6. Turn on Your Video

            Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

            If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

            Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

            7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

            Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

            Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

            Attend to the Pesky Details

            8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

            With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

            Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

            9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

            Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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            Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

            10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

            As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

            Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

            Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

            Talking Has a Time and a Place

            11. Chat Appropriately

            Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

            At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

            12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

            The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

            Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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            13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

            In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

            Manage Yourself

            14. Minimize Distractions

            While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

            Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

            15. Save Snacking for Later

            Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

            However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

            Final Thoughts

            Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

            Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

            Reference

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