How to Unplug From Work During Vacation


4 Tips to Help You Maximize Your Fun

At TSheets, we’re known for working really, really hard.

But we play hard too. (In fact, it’s one of our most important core values.)

We demand nothing short of excellence from ourselves and our teammates, but we know that excellent work is a direct result of happy employees who are passionate and proud to be here.

Why are our employees so happy? Well, for one, we believe in the importance of taking breaks.

In fact, we think breaks are so important, we not only encourage our employees to take yearly vacations, we even offer to pay for them.

That’s right, each year, every TSheets employee gets $1,500 to spend on the vacation of their choice. It’s taken them to Disney World, Mexico, Australia, and beyond!

But that bonus doesn’t come easy. We do have a few rules — and these rules are non-negotiable.*

  1. Employees must work at TSheets for one year before they are eligible for the vacation bonus.
  2. Employees must be willing to share photos and anecdotes from their amazing vacations when they return.
  3. Employees MUST, and we meant MUST, unplug while they’re away. That means no checking in at work, no reading emails, and no taking calls.

*As in “break these rules and you’ll end up paying for your own vacation.”

Why so strict?

While going on vacation has a ton of benefits for both the employee AND the workplace (things like less stress and more productivity), they’ve gotta truly relax and enjoy themselves for those benefits to come to fruition. And they definitely can’t do that with 189 emails per day breathing down their necks.

Unfortunately, dropping everything for a week or more tends to be easier said than done — and we’re pretty sure many of you can attest to that.

After all, while you’re away on vacation, life in the office goes on. There are decisions to make, clients to call, and departments to run. And if you’re super passionate about your work (like we are), it can be hard to tear yourself away — even when “away” is a tropical resort.

Fortunately, TSheets’ very own Robin Young, resident technical writer and traveler extraordinaire, has a few tips to help you unplug.

1. Trust Your Team

When you embark on your vacation, you have to trust that your team can carry on without you. The company won’t fall apart while you’re gone, the building won’t crumble, and your email inbox won’t actually implode. Not trusting your team to take over while you’re gone implies that you aren’t utilizing them to the full extent of their amazing abilities!

Once you realize you can trust your team, preparing them for your departure is easy:

  • Let them know ahead of time which days you’ll be gone.
  • If needed, designate a point person to cover your duties while you’re away.
  • If you’re expecting contact from a certain client or customer, contact them ahead of time to let them know you’ll be out of the office and introduce them to your alternate contact.

2. Unplug Your Computer

Literally. If you can, leave it at home.

If you absolutely MUST take your laptop with you, follow these steps to ensure work doesn’t get in the way of that oh-so-important play:

  • Block out your calendar.
  • Set your email to auto-reply and sign out completely.
  • If you use a company-wide communication program like Slack or Skype, indicate that you are not available, sign out, and close the app.
  • Silence any work-related reminders or notifications.

3. Prepare Your Mobile Device

We get it, your mobile device is a pretty integral part of your vacation. You need it to capture all those awesome moments and keep your social media following up to speed on your adventures! But if you use your mobile device for work, it can also be a huge distraction. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do:

  • Disable your work email on your mobile device. If that seems a little extreme, at the very least, turn off the notifications.
  • Uninstall any work-related apps (like Slack or Asana), or sign out and turn off notifications.
  • If you use TSheets to track your time at work, silence your TSheets clock in reminders. If you don’t use TSheets to track your time at work, you totally should! Here’s why.

If you’re worried you might forget to turn something back on once you’re back to the ole grind, make a list or set a calendar reminder to help you remember.

4. Have fun!

Checking in at work will be the last thing on your mind when you’re zip-lining through the jungle, plummeting down Splash Mountain for the fifth time in a row, or taking a sunset cruise through the Caribbean. Trust us on this one.

There you have it! Unplugging isn’t so hard after all. With these tips, you’re sure to maximize your relaxation (and your vacation) so you can return to the office feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to take on the world!

Download our handy vacation checklist to make unplugging easy every time!

Any smart or savvy vacation tips we missed?
Let us know in the comments below!

Psst! Want us to pay for your vacation? We’re hiring!


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