America is the envy of the world with a high-intensity work ethic, but sometimes deciding to do nothing but work can, in the long run, hurt your work! In fact, a “vacation deficit” is a problem that many Americans now face that can have a long term, negative impact on their career!
If you run a construction business, you may already suspect that you’re in this camp. Being the boss means it can be incredibly difficult to drop your commitments—even for a short time—and get some rest with your family. But it’s a necessary way to recharge your batteries, and, after all for most people, work is there to support a quality life with the family, not the other way around.
Decide On Your Level Of Engagement
The first thing you need to do once you’re sure you can take some time away is decide just how “away” you’re going to be. For better or for worse, modern technology now makes it possible for people to remain in contact with staff—and even continue to manage—remotely. If you decide to go this route, you’re closer to taking a “working vacation” since you may be managing things and still working, just not in your office.
The other, more traditional, and effective route for people that want a vacation is task delegation. Find your “lieutenants/trusted inner circle” of staff, and give them the opportunity to manage. This is often not only a better way to let you enjoy your vacation; it can mean helping your staff to grow so that they can manage things without supervision even when you’re not on vacation. Self-sufficient staff is good to have.
Notify Your Clients
The earlier you do this, the better, but at the absolute latest, you should let your clients know that you won’t be discussing or handling work-related manners at least one week before you leave. However, giving them a much earlier warning about this is always going to do more good than bad.
This also means having measures in place—or people—that your clients can refer to when you’re not there to personally handle matters. Make sure that you have the contacts in place to field questions or concerns, as well as contacts for your staff if they need to handle anything. If you have a favorite tech support company, or plumber that you like to use when work needs to get done, ensure these contacts are available.
Define Your Rules
It’s probably not going to be possible—or advisable—for you to isolate yourself from your business activities. So it’s important for you to define where and when you step in and interact, or what information you’d like to be kept informed of. You may, for example, want an update at the end of the business day about any noteworthy occurrences, so an end-of-day report may be appropriate for you to look at. On the other hand, you may want an hourly update, to make sure you know how things are going.
Another important factor to think about is your return. If possible, give yourself a few days after the vacation to decompress from the vacation, while still tackling some work-related issues at home. This is a much gentler transition than coming back from vacation and immediately heading out to the office the next day.