I don’t want annual leave. Give me vacation.

Annual leave, in my view, is a mild perversion of what we really mean to say, which is vacation days. If you’re in HR, you probably recognize the correlation between time off and employee productivity. When employees don’t take the time to leave the cubicle, power down the BlackBerry, and relax with family and friends — well, what happens? Burnout ensues. Morale lowers. Complaints and grievances increase. But moreover, we hit an internal reset button that allows us to work smarter when we return to our occupational surroundings.

  • On vacation, laughing with friends makes our eyes water and our hearts full.
  • On vacation, running on the beach clears our heads and energizes our bodies.
  • On vacation, reading augments our subject-matter expertise and inspires creativity.
  • On vacation, cooking and pursuing our hobbies adds to the richness of our lives, in any season.

By disconnecting from work, we actually connect to our work in deeper and more meaningful ways upon our return. Because, as it just so happens, the majority of us are not teleworking. Yet.

What is your favorite way to recharge your batteries?

Andy Lowenthal is a public sector strategy consultant. Follow him on 
Twitter and friend him on GovLoop.

Leave a Comment


Leave a Reply

Terrence (Terry) Hill

I’m one of those who does not want to disconnect while on leave/vacation. My daughter is getting married next weekend, but I’ll have my blackberry with me, as well as my laptop. I do telework regularly, but don’t feel comfortable completely detaching from work. I don’t like the stress of playing catch up and I don’t like leaving people hanging while I’m enjoying myself. I believe in integrating my life and my work, not segregating them.

As far as charging batteries, I don’t wait for the weekends or vacations, I take breaks for exercise, reading, and spend time with my wife every day.

Virginia Smith

Ditto Samuel Lovett’s list. I do detach myself as much as possible from work when I am on vacation. I feel that I owe it to myself and my loved ones to truly get away from work if possible. I do check e-mail once a day, and my boss knows how to reach me if necessary.

Tammi Terrell Purkins

At the risk of sounding like a total geek I relax by:

1. Making fractal and 3D artwork/animations on my computer Some are on my site here: startrekomega.deviantart.com.

2. Playing turn-based strategy games (like Civilization 4) especially online when I can.

3. Attempting to beat my kids at chess.

4. Solving 4-D and 5-D puzzles and mazes like this one here http://www.urticator.net/maze/ and here http://www.superliminal.com/cube/applet.html.

5. Using the program Wings 3D to make random architecture.

Yeah I know…geek heavy stuff I’m sure.

Dawn Nester

During the work day, I make sure I get up and walk around the office. I dont’ stop at the water cooler to chat. I just get up and get the blood circulating again. It’s just a five minute get away from the desk and move thing. After work, before bed, I read. Reading, fiction or non-fiction, takes my mind off whatever my day was all about and I can concentrate on someone else’s (real or imaginary) life for a few minutes. It helps.

Ann Butterworth

I live about a block from my office (yup the commute is SO hard) and from my church. It makes it hard to separate work from home.

I recharge at Zumba class (at my local YMCA)- it combines exercise, dance and friends! Cooking for others. Relaxing on my downtown condo terrace watching the sunset.

Marsha Stril

I like to hike on Mt. Rainier. It’s peaceful, quiet and the air smells so fresh. I forget about all the challenges I’m having at work.

Marian Henderson

I knit, read, hike and play with my dog. I’m an introvert, so I choose more solitary pursuits for recharging. I find people to be somewhat of a drain on my limited energy, although I find time for friends at least once a week!

Corey McCarren

Running with running friends is my #1 escape to recharge. I like being outside, it’s the best way for me to get away.

Tammi Terrell Purkins

Playing a good round of Splinter Cell on my computer or arranging music using one of my music editing programs.

Andy Lowenthal

Keep ’em coming!

Hiking on Mt. Rainier sounds awesome, Marsha. For me, getting outdoors is a large part of recharging the batteries. Keeps us healthy and connected to our ecosystem, of which we are only a part.