by Kevin Eikenberry
I just got back from vacation recently, and as a leader of a hybrid team myself, I made sure to follow one of the most important pieces of advice I give to leaders:
When you are on vacation, be on vacation.
Now, while I was on vacation, I wasn’t writing in this space and…this is really amazing, I know…Life went on for you, you continued to do good work and make progress on your goals and business objectives.
Now stop, and read that again, but think about you and not me.
The world (and work) won’t stop when you go on vacation. In fact, your team might even thrive without you there.
If you want your teammates to really unplug and disconnect when they are on vacation (you do, right?) then you must lead by (the right) example.
How Does This Relate to Hybrid Work?
That message is especially important today. Remote and now perhaps hybrid working arrangements have drastically changed people’s routines and work/life balance. For all of the positive that has come from reduced commutes and more time to be with family, the lines have continued to blur between work and life – due to the blurring of where and when we do work, supported by our ever-present and powerful digital technologies.
We need vacations. We need time to relax, reconnect, reflect and have some fun. Vacations help lower our stress levels and improve overall mental health. And if we are balancing work with our vacations, we aren’t really vacationing, are we?
This leads us to three important points:
- Make sure to take your vacation – and really take it.
- Make sure you don’t set expectations for people to work when on vacation.
- When you really take yours, you improve the chances (drastically) that others will too.
The most important thing you can do as a leader of a remote or hybrid team now is help people figure out work/life balance in the face of even more change. Vacations are part of it, an example perhaps. But we must help people sort this out for everyone’s benefit.
And it starts with you working on work/life balance for yourself.
Hopefully you unplugged during your vacation and read something not related to work. Now that you’re back, let me suggest both of the books Wayne Turmel and I have written that will help you grow as a remote leader and teammate, The Long-Distance Leader and The Long-Distance Teammate.