When was the last time you took time off in the summer? After the recent recession, you might think Americans are ready to use some of their vacation time in the coming months. Not according to a new survey by Skift. The primary reasons given for staying home are not having enough money or enough time. However, 22 percent of those surveyed plan to take long weekends as a substitute.
What about small-business owners? Are they following suit? According to the 2013 Sage Reinvention Study, 43 percent of small-business owners are taking less vacation time than they did five years ago. This is not a good trend, since taking a vacation can actually make us more productive when we’re back at work. For example, one study shows taking a break from email helps improve focus and social skills.
If you’re worried about losing touch while out of town, don’t. Technology has made staying in contact with your business quite seamless. Here’s how to actually take that much-needed break this summer.
- Appoint a trusted delegate in the office. Make sure this person not only has a command of the daily tasks that need to be completed, but also understands the overall goals of your company. When it comes to making decisions, you want the employee to think like you would—that is, for the good of the business. Then, give this employee your top priorities and make introductions to important clients so everyone knows each other before you head out.
- Of course you store all important data in the cloud, right? That way, if you really need to look for a file or find an important document you can access it from anywhere. Plus, you can see what changes employees are making to documents, add comments or give advice.
- Do you have Skype or GoToMeeting in case you need to conduct an emergency conference call? Check what kind of Wi-Fi connection is available at your hotel or wherever you’re staying. If it’s weak, you may need to head to a business center to conduct an important call, so make sure there’s one nearby.
- If nothing big is on your business’s schedule during the time you’ll be away, try to unplug as much as you can. Let your point person know when you’ll be unreachable (parasailing perhaps?) and let them know the next time you’ll check in. Make sure he or she knows what you consider an urgent matter and ask to be disturbed only if there’s an emergency.
- Make sure you let clients know you’re leaving town for a while and will not be available as readily as you usually are. Most clients will be understanding as long as they have a contact person they can reach while you’re away.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at [email protected], follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.