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The importance of not checking your e-mails when on holiday

I am about to head off for 2 weeks annual leave, what bliss! As a senior employee of BCL Legal with responsibility spanning across 3 offices as well as having a family and a cat, there isn’t much ‘down time’. Early mornings and late evenings spent mostly on a train mean I see very little of my kids – lucky them as I am not in ‘family mode’ when I am ‘in the zone’ as it were (meaning I don’t have the patience to deal with a 3 and an 8 year old when I’ve been at work for 13 hours!). I know I am not alone in this regard.

In previous years I have always taken my work phone with me on holiday. My wife never liked it but she understood why I felt I had to. To be honest, I couldn’t let go and I still find it hard now. BCL Legal is a bigger business now then we have been at any point in the past, I am lucky enough to have experienced legal recruiters around me each managing their own teams very well so delegation is a whole lot easier than in previous years. I was still tempted though until I stumbled across http://www.theimperic.com/2014/04/8-reasons-check-work-email-holiday/. It’s quite funny mostly because it’s harsh but true and it makes you realise that whilst you think you are being helpful by checking and replying to emails whilst your away, you are in fact being a bit of a pain and your colleagues would much rather you didn’t!

The article basically points to the following reasons why you shouldn’t do it:

1. If you are always available, people won’t realise how great you are if you are never around.
2. Out of office should actually mean what it says. Your colleagues will hate you for it, not love you for it.
3. There is no such thing as one reply, I really liked this one, it’s so true. You think one line of brilliance will solve whatever issue you have picked up on but what you get is a load of other issues sent back to you!
4. Holidays should be work free, you can’t be ‘in the room’ with your kids if you mind is still back in the office thinking about work (short tempered irritable Dad is not good to be around believe it or not!).
5. Most of what you thought would be a problem won’t be by the time you get back to work.
6. The two drink rule, I liked this one too. You are on holiday so it’s fine to have a beer or 3 at lunch time on a Tuesday so don’t try and reply to work emails at about 4pm, you may think you are sober and full of great advice, but you are not!
7. The last one is that nobody cares, life will go on even if you are not around – harsh but fair!

Have a great holiday!

For more information please contact James Brewster or visit our website BCL Legal.

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