For legal professionals, a healthy work life balance always seems far on the horizon, and when it comes to the holidays, it’s often difficult to switch off from case work. Below Lawyer Monthly hears from Richard Holmes, Director of Wellbeing at Westfield Health, who discusses the benefits of time away from work life, but more importantly, how to do it.
With many employees in the legal industry working long hours in a client facing role, it can be really difficult to switch off. Learning how to switch off is important when you’re on holiday so that you can relax, recuperate and are ready to work with your clients to the best of your ability when you return.
A holiday is the perfect opportunity to take a break and step back from your workload. Here are some top tips to help you make the most of your time off:
- Turn off your mobile. Although it can often seem like you need to be ready to help a client no matter what time of day, resist checking your emails and taking calls. If you are helping a client through a particularly difficult legal issue whilst you’re away, this can lead to increased stress and you’ll be less productive when you return to work.
- Communicate with your team. Before you leave, let your colleagues know what you’re working on and anything you think might come up whilst you’re away. You can then relax knowing any client issues that might arise will be picked up by your team.
- It’s ok to say no. Working with clients, especially on serious legal issues, can make you feel guilty if you don’t go the extra mile but even before you go on holiday it’s important to start reducing stress. Don’t take on extra tasks or responsibilities and if a client requires something, ask a colleague if they can help you.
- Don’t take your work with you. When you leave the office, visualise yourself stopping work and going on holiday, and don’t take your laptop home or away with you. To help this, take five minutes to organise yourself and your first working day back.
- Stick to a routine. Sticking to a routine whilst on holiday so that you still set aside time for relaxation, fun activities and sleep is very important to help keep stress at bay. A holiday routine will also make it easier to go back to work.
By implementing these tactics just before, and during, your holiday you’ll notice a real difference in your ability to de-stress, relax and most importantly, enjoy yourself!