Disconnect to Reconnect

photos of vacation - disconnect to reconnect

Disconnect to reconnect? Definitely. And it’s exactly what we did at Juice this month. It was a big, bold step for us, but we closed shop for five business days. Although we have been in business for almost 15 years, we have never attempted this approach for vacation time. So what did we learn?

First, Juice survived our vacation.

I started in the corporate environment where I always had coverage when I was out. Even for most of the years with Juice, I always had coverage. So, although it might sound over the top to say, “Juice survived,” it’s a heartfelt statement. We did survive, and I’m grateful to all our clients for their understanding.

Give lots of notice.

Starting four weeks before the time we would be away, I included a note about that at the bottom of my email. I wanted to give more than sufficient notice to everyone. For our clients who have online order forms for business cards and flyers, we sent a special email to them so they could adequately prepare.

Be clear about what to expect.

Our out-of-office messages let everyone know this was the first time we ever did this at Juice in our almost 15 years existence. I wanted everyone to know that we remain reliable and would be right back at it once we returned.

Jump right in for our clients.

My goal was to answer every email by noon on our first day back, and if possible, take care of as many requests as possible. We achieved both goals and sent out a lot of business card and design proofs on that first day.

Share the why.

There are two thoughts to share on this. The obvious first … that disconnecting replenishes you. Personally, I had not been away for a full week without my laptop since 2018, and my mind and body were clearly feeling it.

Second, when you are a small agency, one person being out for any length of time is challenging to those who remain. By simultaneously being away together, it was not overly stressful for us, and we could fully disconnect rather than working a bit each day to keep everything moving forward.

Would we have a juice vacation again?

Although working to coordinate annual vacation schedules is not always easy, I think the benefits overall were worth it, and our experiment had a rewarding result.

We realize that this approach would only work for certain types of companies. If you think your business could do this but you have not tested it yet, we thought you might find this overview helpful. And wherever you work, if you have not taken a week’s vacation in some time, start planning. There’s joy in the anticipation of your trip as well as the trip itself!