Time off from work comes in many forms: paid and unpaid vacations, family leave, maternity leave, sick leave, study leave, sabbaticals and emergencies. If approaching your supervisor is already difficult enough, how much harder would asking for a vacation or leave be?
One thing that attracts us to our jobs are the perks and the first thing we look for are vacation privileges. Unless your job already includes plenty of airline miles, airport hopping or travel, squeezing in some R&R every few months shouldn’t be unattainable. All it takes is a polite approach and right timing.
1. Double Check Policies
Don’t abuse or neglect your privileges. As an employee, you should already be familiar with the policies and guidelines regarding taking a leave. That’s what handbooks are for. Align your plans with your organization’s and your chances of getting that sweet “yes” from your superior are sure to double.
For more specific matters, never hesitate to consult with your HR about vacation policies.
2. Ask for Permission Appropriately
The golden rule of requesting for a leave: Never demand, ask.
If requesting for a leave of absence requires that you put it on paper, do it. This is one way to show your superiors that you’re responsible and familiar with the standard operating procedures.
Timing plays a big role on whether or not your request will be approved. Pass in your request in advance and when they seem least busy. Avoid asking in the middle or a project, event or while trying to catch a deadline. Save your efforts for after the success. Try to mention it in passing as well to observe their initial reactions about your planned absence.
Always have backup plans. We all play important roles in our companies, so the get up and leave ethic wouldn’t really work well.
Before leaving, make sure all your work is caught up and done. One way to make your officemates feel like they’ve been abandoned is by leaving them in the dark and not delegating the unfinished work, if any. Also try making up the time you lost while you were away. Even your vacation planning and timing says a lot about your chances of being promoted
If your duties at work are as crucial as your outside plans, create a common ground. Maybe you can work remotely for a short time span in order to fulfill your duties on both ends.
Sometimes, as managers and HR personnel, loosening up on your employees, having complete and utter faith that they’ll come back is one way to keep them longer.
A weekend is too short a time to fulfill our beach fantasies. Or what if your trip of a lifetime comes up unexpectedly amidst busy work days? Are we allowed to just take a day off because we feel like having some “me time”?
Even employees of the month need a break, too. Some days are better than others, so don’t be too hard on yourself when exhaustion and stress catch up to you eventually.
Also remember to express gratitude towards your boss and your team. If your trip included a trip out of the country, a little souvenir piece given as a present shouldn’t hurt. Use sick days honestly. You wouldn’t want to come back to a group of officemates who treat you as a stranger if they feel you went AWOL on them.
Retreat and time off are included in our rights as an employee. We all have the right to take a time off from stress. Use it before you lose it, even vacation days and experiences have expiry dates. Vacation, paid or not, should be a luxury we can all enjoy.