Why would you take emails on holiday? Are things that bad?

19-06-17
Email overload Holiday time management Stress and Holidays Time management and your holidays Holidays without e mails Planning holidays Stress relief and emails How to stop taking emails on holiday How to benefit from a holiday reduce holiday emails


I just had a great holiday and met 2 lovely ladies enjoying the heat and the pool and doing e mails!! They were Directors. Pity they weren’t in control of their teams or their lives and I have to wonder how valuable were their responses after the poolside drinks and distractions? So what will you do?

It’s now estimated we spend 25% of our day doing e mails http://deloitte.wsj.com/cio/2017/03/30/adapting-to-the-future-of-work/

 Good thing or bad thing? For most of us it’s both and usually with my clients mainly a waste of energy. Holidays seem to create a whole new email dilemma for some, should I do them? If I don’t I’ll have hundreds when I get back! This should be no dilemma, you are on holiday! if it is I suggest a number of issues for you to consider

  • Why can’t your team cope for 1 or 2 weeks?
  • Why are you afraid to delegate or let go?
  • Tell your boss and colleagues you just won’t be available
  • If there are trust issues have you got the right talent
  • Wouldn’t you support others on holiday? So why won’t/cant they?
  • You need to refresh yourselves about the real benefits of a holiday


I have always had great respect for those with the courage to delete all e mails the day they get back. First day back the go talk to their teams and boss and get the issues directly and then get started. Good users of this method make sure their teams and customers know this before they go, they set the holiday rules.

And yes the important emails will get re-sent or you get a call, still better than 2 days wading through out of date info.

Interestingly most people know the problems yet don’t employ strategies to make a change. I had 1 manager recently who was getting 400 emails a day, note “was” getting. Typically most of these were CC’s or due to other staff not knowing the processes and simply asking someone who would know. They were dumping on her goodwill and commitment. It also transpires she had lost touch with her job description and had become the company email go to person! Great for her career prospects and results!!

One of the first rules has to be to set expectations around your rules for effective e mail management, this might conflict with the organisation however the chances are they aren’t working.

I am pretty sure when you were hired to do your job nowhere in the discussion was it mentioned you would spend 2-3 hours a day on emails including on holiday! So how much more effective would you be if you had 20% more time to do your job, that’s an extra day a week.

Go and enjoy your holiday, make a stand, be unavailable, let people step up, don’t be used, refresh yourself, rediscover your family. Return refreshed and with more positive energy to give to work.


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About the author

Graham Wilson

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My working life has always involved working closely with people and delivering results. For nearly 30 years I have run behaviour programmes and been involved with many other methods of working with and analysing personality, performance and behaviour. Having enjoyed significant business success I believe that if we first build the people the people will build the business. Which in no way reduces the focus on clear business strategy and purpose. As a result I've already helped 11 people become Millionaires. 

So what do I do?... I inspire transformation

 A brief history 

35 years in healthcare Services. Pharma, Med devices, Med Tech and the Care sector Key player in building the worlds biggest Pharma services business Innovex/Quintiles, driving consistent growth from 30- 60% per annum. From the UK to the USA and Europe

Chaired 6 businesses and been on 11 Boards from £300m to start up. Raised funds and driven successful exits. 

Qualified as a Coach with Shirlaws the leading Global Coaching business. Still running and developing behaviour programmes. A Qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist. 

I own and run a Care business and am also a Non Exec Director of 2 companies involved in leading edge marketing support, such as Word of Mouth marketing I Coach a wide range of clients in multiple sectors. Understand the numbers, believe its strategy and people that make it all work. Have a look at my profile for full details and links


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