How to take PTO in the post-vaccine travel boom

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Keep any feelings of guilt at bay

As more workers end their remote-work saga and return to physical office spaces, some employees may feel guilty taking time off. People worry that there is no one on their team to do their job in their absence, or that they are fearful of the mountain of work they will face when they return. It can be helpful to remember that vacation time is not a “perk.”

“We have to stop looking at our vacation time like this gift that your company gives you,” she says. “It’s earned compensation. It’s part of your total reward. They’re not just giving it to you; you’ve earned it.” “Productivity and engagement and morale increase when we’re not chronically stressed,” she says. “So [taking vacation days] is actually better for everyone.”

Set boundaries for your vacation time

While you do need to tell your boss you will be gone, there is a common misconception that employees need to explain how they will be spending their vacation time.

“For one, you’re not required to do that. And two, you don’t need to send your vacation itinerary to your boss. “You’re asking for the time off. You’re not asking for permission to go to a wedding or take a flight to Florida or England or wherever you want to go.”

What you can tell your boss is whether you will be reachable. If you would like to fully disconnect from work during your vacation to enjoy the glory of travel again, “Just because the technology is there for us to be in touch all the time doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a break,” she says. “It actually just means that we have to be the ones to uphold it.”

So have that conversation, set up your out-of-office message and log off work mode.

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