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Supporting Employees to Fully Disconnect from Work During Summer Leave

As summer approaches, it’s essential for employers to encourage their teams to take their well-deserved annual leave and fully disconnect from work. Ensuring employees can switch off completely during their holidays not only promotes well-being but also boosts productivity and morale when they return. Here are some guidelines to support your staff in taking their annual leave without the need to check in on work or emails.

Embrace the Right to Disconnect

In Ireland, the Right to Disconnect Code of Practice emphasises the importance of allowing employees to disengage from work outside of normal working hours. This includes respecting their time off and not expecting them to be available for work communications during their annual leave.

Here’s how you can implement this practice:

Set Clear Expectations

Inform employees that they are not required to check emails or respond to work-related messages during their leave. Reinforce that their well-being and time off are priorities.

Plan Ahead

Encourage employees to plan their tasks and delegate responsibilities before going on leave. This ensures a smooth workflow in their absence and reduces the likelihood of being contacted for work matters.

Communicate Policies

Regularly remind your team about the company’s leave policies and the Right to Disconnect. Provide resources or training sessions if necessary to ensure everyone understands and respects these guidelines.

Lead by Example

Managers and leaders should model the behaviour they want to see. When taking leave, ensure you disconnect fully, setting an example for the rest of the team.

Use Technology Wisely

Implement out-of-office email replies and temporary voicemail messages for employees on leave. This helps manage external expectations and directs inquiries to available team members.

Foster a Supportive Culture

Create an environment where taking time off is encouraged and respected. Recognise and reward employees who take their full leave and return refreshed.

By supporting your employees to fully switch off during their annual leave, you not only comply with the Right to Disconnect Code of Practice but also invest in a healthier, more motivated, and productive workforce.

Ingrid O’Sullivan, Operations Manager

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