NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
On the surface, the thought of taking two weeks off from work for an extended vacation may seem like a dreamy break from all the pressures of work.
But before you book that two-week trip, there’s more to consider than merely being off the clock for 10 work days at once.
The truth is that a two-week vacation can be a direct trip to hassles and work headaches that will await you when you return from all that extended fun and sun.
Consider the advice of some experts before locking in a two-week getaway (unless it’s for something very, very special — read on!).
Essentially, these experts recommend that any notions of being away from a professional job for two full work weeks in a row should remain just that: a notion.
While that doesn’t mean workers aren’t entitled to an appropriate amount of time off, consider these insights when thinking about or planning an extended period of vacation time away from the job.
Realize you’re using most of your time off all at once
If you allocate most of your vacation days to one long trip, you’re left with little or no extra vacation days the rest of the year.
“Using a big chunk of vacation time all at once may mean you have fewer days off to use throughout the year,” said Amy Morin, psychotherapist, licensed clinical social worker and author of “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.”
“If you’ve saved up for one big vacation, you might be disappointed when you have to return to work and have few vacation days left,” she added.
A long work break may cause anxiety and other stresses
We’re glued to our devices and few of us truly unplug when we are on vacation.
“A longer vacation may not necessarily mean deeper relaxation,” Morin noted. “You might find you start worrying about work the longer you’re away — and you might be more tempted to start checking messages while you’re supposed to be away from the office.”
Also, while taking an extended vacation, you might grow increasingly anxious about what you’re missing at work.
“You might feel stressed when you begin thinking of the workload you’re going to return to,” Morin said. “Responding to emails, addressing issues that went unresolved in your absence and learning what you missed may be quite stressful.”
Morin also pointed out that, in some situations and workplaces, “vacation shaming” is a real thing.
“Learning what you missed may be quite stressful.”
Though this goes against the best practices in human resources and general management, she said the reality is that “some managers may try to embarrass an employee for taking time off. They may even become passive-aggressive and schedule important things during an employee’s vacation.”
Know there are times you’ll get a pass
Two-week vacations are common for weddings and honeymoons, but you may also take one if you’re going on a special trip.
“A trip to Europe or even Hawaii might warrant an extended stay,” said Morin.
“You should just consider whether the joy of an extended vacation is going to outweigh the risks you face by being away from the office for an extended period,” she added.
“If you’re going to take an extended vacation, make sure it’s for something special.”
Understand how a two-week vacation impacts your company
Wendy L. Patrick, JD, PhD, a lecturer in business law at San Diego State University, said that in the corporate world, taking a long vacation can be disruptive for some workplaces and cultures.
She said this is especially true now that offices and other workplaces have lost a number of valuable “go-to” employees during the last two years of the “Great Resignation.”
“A two-week vacation can also be disruptive because it might generate resentment among younger or newer employees who are struggling to afford gas to get to and from work, much less able to plan a two-week vacation,” she said.
What if the boss does it?
What if a manager or supervisor takes that two-week vacation — and leaves employees more or less on their own for that time period?
Patrick said such a scenario doesn’t always set the right tone for others, especially for younger or newer employees with a stricter work ethic.
This is true even for those who can afford such a vacation, she said.
“Supervisors also might be seen as irresponsible when they decide to take a long vacation during a tenuous transition time of establishing new work schedules — which usually means lots of questions by younger employees,” she added.
Consider these additional insights
Employee productivity can also be affected during a long vacation from work.
“Many employees are good at what they do because they do it every day,” said Patrick, addressing productivity.
“This is true from the classroom to the courtroom to boardrooms across the country,” she said.
“A 10-day or two-week vacation can disrupt the flow for many workers, especially those whose job responsibilities have been altered post-pandemic by telework or hybrid schedules,” she also said.