When it’s hard to switch off

When it’s hard to switch off

Apparently, many executives find it difficult to really switch off on vacation – not only mentally, but also with all their mobile devices.

A LinkedIn survey conducted by Alexander Wilhelm, Managing Partner of InterSearch Executive Consultants in Frankfurt, showed, among other things, how difficult it is to switch off: 36 percent of the participants check their e-mails, LinkedIn several times a day while on vacation. 34 percent check their inbox once a day. “Together, that’s more than half, just under two-thirds,” says Wilhelm, summarizing the results. Another 20 percent check their e-mail once a week while on vacation. “With around 80 percent in total not letting go of their emails at all while on vacation, that’s a surprisingly high number. Even if still many high-level personnel stress, in the vacation one should switch off, comments the personnel consultant.

It’s obviously not easy for many managers not to know what’s going on in the company, the office, the team or with customers. It is not a matter of keeping everything and everyone under control. It’s more a case of being overwhelmed by the sheer number of emails if you don’t empty your digital inbox for a week or even several weeks. A three-digit number of messages can quickly accumulate. In that case, you might need a day or two to sort through the mails or answer them.

Schedule fixed times
Alexander Wilhelm recommends scheduling fixed times to check your inbox during your vacation, such as in the morning after breakfast or in the evening before dinner. “This requires some self-discipline, but it can also calm a restless mind if you know everything is in order,” he says. And it requires trust in the team to handle everything in the supervisor’s mind, for example, even during the absence.

Wilhelm’s tip: Only reply to messages that are really urgent and do so as briefly and succinctly as possible. Pause non-essential newsletters, have the courage to delete unnecessary messages and the countless “cc emails”. Make sure to mark important mails that you can and want to work on after your vacation as unread again or mark them with a flag or a coloured category. Outlook, for instance, offers numerous options. “Otherwise, you might have a hard time finding those messages again later,” Wilhelm says. After all, smartphones today offer several options if you really don’t want to be disturbed at all. “No flashing red light like BlackBerry used to have, screaming for attention because a message of whatever kind had arrived,” Wilhelm recalls.

Time to arrive at everyday work
“I’ve had good experiences with taking half a day to arrive and work through messages after I return,” Wilhelm reports. “This gives me a more relaxed start to the first few days of work, which are usually already well-filled with appointments.”


About InterSearch Executive Consultants

InterSearch Executive Consultants is one of the leading personnel consultancies in Germany, specializes in the recruitment of executives (Executive Search) and systematic analyses of executive potential (Management Audit / Executive Diagnostic). Founded in 1985 under the name “MR Personalberatung”, the company is now represented in Germany with three offices in Hamburg, Frankfurt and Cologne and was a founding partner of InterSearch Worldwide in 1989. Today, InterSearch operates worldwide in the field of executive search with more than 900+ consultants and researchers in over 50 countries with more than 90 locations.