What To Do When Your Boss Expects You To Work On Vacation

You’re on vacation.  

You’re trying to enjoy time with your family and reconnect with them.  

But you just happened to look down at your phone and you see that your boss is emailing you. 

They’re asking you where something is.  

They want you to jump on a call while you’re on vacation.  

You’re feeling frustrated about this because you have no boundaries. 

When it comes to work, whether it’s night, weekends or vacation, you find yourself responding to messages from a boss that is a workaholic. 

It sucks, it’s frustrating and you need to do something about it. 

If you don’t, here’s what will happen. 

Once you respond to that email, it’ll turn into a long conversation. 

Then it’ll turn into meetings. 

Then you’ll be working on projects while you’re supposed to be spending time with your children. 

You’ll be stressed.  

You fear that if you don’t respond to these messages, it’ll be a mark against you. 

You fear you won’t get the next promotion. 

You surely won’t earn the bonus you’ve been demanding. 

And you may not keep your job because they’ll see it as a sign that you’re not committed to the work. 

A boss that emails you when you’re supposed to be off is a part of a toxic culture. 

Since you’ve got the big title, you may think you have to be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

That’s false. 

You’re supposed to have some time. 

You’ve got to create space in your life to replenish yourself. 

If you don’t, you won’t be good to anyone else. 

It’s kind of like what flight attendants tell you right before planes take off. 

Put the mask on yourself before trying to help anyone else. 

There’s no way of helping anyone else without getting the oxygen that you need. 

This metaphor is important for you to understand as a leader. 

You cannot respond to the messages from your boss. 

You’ve got to shut it off at some point. 

How do you deal with a boss that refuses to respect the boundaries of vacation? 

It’s very simple.  

It is not easy, but it is very simple.  

You need to have a conversation and let them know what allows you to be the most successful for the organization. 

They may like being a workaholic and sending emails at 2:00 AM.  

But studies have shown that if you don’t get enough rest, you won’t be as sharp and effective on tasks. 

If you don’t get time to reconnect with your family, then your family is going to have other challenges. 

That’s going to take you away from work even more.  

You need to have a direct and clear conversation with them about your boundaries and what allows you to be successful at work.  

If they are a good leader, they’ll listen and respond accordingly.  

If they’re not, they’ll tell you things you don’t want to hear and make it tough for you. 

If you have that kind of leader, connect with me on LinkedIn.  

Send me a message and let me know that you need help setting boundaries with your boss. 

I’ve got a game plan for you that will help you be successful. 



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