Americans are known for being truly terrible at taking time off. A study from careers site Glassdoor found that the average employee reported only taking 54 percent of the vacation days they had available to them. More telling is that 66 percent of those polled said that they worked while they were away.
There are tons of tools out there to make your inbox a little less daunting, but if you’re always checking email, even if you’re supposed to be relaxing, that stress will still follow you to whatever beach you’ve parked yourself on.
Arianna Huffington, the founder and CEO of wellness brand Thrive Global, has long been a proponent of unplugging to the point of creating on-the-nose merch -- such as a $50 charging bed for your phone. Now, she's introduced an email office tool called Thrive Away that she described in a post for Harvard Business Review.
“While you’re on vacation, people who email you get a message, letting them know when you’ll be back. And then -- the most important part -- the tool deletes the email," she wrote." If the email is important, the sender can always send it again. If it’s not, then it’s not waiting for you when you get back, or even worse, tempting you to read it while you’re away.”
While most companies likely won’t implement an office-wide system like Huffington’s, it's a helpful reminder that if you don’t respond to that email right away, the world won’t come to an end. And as a business owner, if you want your employees to stay healthy and productive, it’s on you to encourage them to actually take that time away for themselves -- and leave their inboxes behind.