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For small business owners in New York, taking off for a summer vacation can be more stressful than just staying at work. Here are some tips for going on vacation if you're the boss so that you can actually relax while you're away from the office.

7 tips for going on vacation if you're the boss:

  1. Prepare staff well ahead of time: Leaving somebody else in charge while you're away will be much less anxiety making if that person has had some time to learn the ropes. Instead of making your backup boss responsible for a whole bunch of unfamiliar tasks at the last minute, give them opportunities to step in and learn throughout the year, so that they actually know what they're doing. Similarly, make it common practice to give employees enough training to be able to cover for their peers. This way, when someone quits, gets ill, or goes on vacation, your employees won't be blindsided by having to cover for somebody else on short notice.
  2. Consider the benefits: Getting not just out of but away from the office for real is a great way to show faith in your employees and give them an authentic opportunity to step up and grow. Plus, you will get some much needed rest, which will enhance your motivation and productivity when you return. Vacations have also been shown to have health benefits and to make people happier. With so much to gain, how can you not take a vacation?
  3. Don't be a guru: Creating a business that relies on the strength and expertise of one person who has to be around all the time is a setup for failure, not to mention burnout. Fostering an atmosphere of teamwork and mutual responsibility not only creates a healthy professional environment, but it also makes it easier to take time away even if you're the boss.
  4. Make yourself as unavailable as possible: Do you really need to be answering emails and phone calls while you're away? Only you can answer that question, and it may be that checking in every once in awhile actually makes you feel better about being gone. Whatever you decide, keep communication with work to an absolute minimum to experience the full benefits of your time away.
  5. Take advantage of digital tools: Using simple technology tools like an automatic out-of-office reply on your email can help put you at ease because you can assure clients that you will be back in touch soon. And if you need a little help staying unplugged, there are even apps that will lock you out of your smartphone or block addictive apps for a set period of time.
  6. Define "emergency": Even if you're a laid back boss, there are probably a few scenarios that could and should warrant your immediate attention. Let your staff know what these are and how they should contact you something serious occurs. Consider having a separate emergency number or ringtone so that you know the call is critical. Finally, make a detailed list of contacts for potential problems like technology or building issues, so that any minor emergencies can be handled without your assistance.
  7. Ask yourself: How important is it? Yes, things can and might go wrong while you're on vacation. But it's unlikely that something catastrophic is going to happen. And even if it does, there may be little you can do about the situation even if you're on the scene. In the end, you may have a few regrets about taking time away; but it's likely you'll have many more if you don't.
Posted 12:00 AM  View Comments

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