As a business owner and entrepreneur, you, and you alone, know all the hard work it has taken you to get as far as you have. All the time and resources you have invested in your idea — your baby — so it is understandable that you want to make sure that everything is done according to your standards. You live up to the motto: “If you want something well done: do it yourself”.
Right now in Italy, the vast majority of workers will be staring directly into the vast expanse of a full month off. No commute, no office, no e-mails, no meetings. For an entire month. Instead, a family holiday by the beach beckons or, alternatively, the freedom to do precisely what they like. For most of us, that’s just not going to happen. But holidays are important, to individuals and to businesses, and I’ll tell you why.
Without a sufficient break, it’s easy to build up anxieties and stress over a period of time. I’ve seen it often enough among my colleagues and friends when they don’t get that full two weeks away, they don’t get the benefit of a proper break - and it does hamper their performance, there’s no question about that.
Instead, I’ve noticed the rise of people taking a number of scattered, shorter holidays. These have their benefits but what I would say is that you need to create a psychological break from work when you’re on holiday, and you need time to achieve that – time you just don’t get on a long weekend or shorter holiday.
In the creative industries it feels even more important to have a break – after even just a few days away I come back reinvigorated and re-energised. But it’s also relevant to whatever industry you’re in. We all need more time to think. In work, there is so much to process, so much to get done, that often we don’t have enough time to step back, see the bigger picture and to think a problem through. I know that if I’ve got an issue and give it an hour of thought, there will be a solution at the end of it. What if you could create some time to really think things through? Well, that’s what a holiday means to me.
As ridiculous as it sounds, you need time to adjust to taking time off. Four or five days off isn’t enough, in my opinion. For me, a holiday isn’t about sitting on a beach, it’s about doing other things, indulging other interests, challenging or entertaining yourself in a different context, using a different sphere of your brain, perhaps. You need time to switch off completely – to stop one thing and attempt another.
So why do we seem to struggle to take holidays?
It’s very difficult to step away from your responsibilities. Personally I’m very hands-on at work, very creatively involved, even at this point in my career – I like to know what’s happening. Time is always of the essence so I do feel that if I spend a few days away from the studio, for work reasons, I need to get back to stay on top of things. So the idea of taking two weeks out to ‘indulge’ while all this is going on, is understandably difficult for me and a lot of people.
So the onus is on both businesses and employees to encourage one another to take a break. Support your colleagues when they want to take time off, line up someone to look after their work when they’re gone and set the boundaries of what is expected. In the modern world you can’t simply put your pencil down and walk away for two weeks – work has to continue, but it’s how you manage that with the team available that is most important.
Is it down to companies or the individual to manage their well-being? It’s both. It’s the responsibility of companies to recognise that their workforce is the most precious element of their business. Helping your personnel to have some downtime, recognising the simple psychology and value of taking a break – whether physical or mental, is key to all of this. The Germans have it right – they have more holidays than anyone else, more or less, but at the end of the day they’re more productive.
So, let’s all take a proper holiday – it’s good for your business, it’s good for you and, with the support and encouragement of your colleagues, completely manageable. Dispense with your guilt and come back refreshed, and more capable. Everyone will thank you for it.
Alfredo was featured on the huffingtonpost.com commenting on "8 Reasons We Hired a Virtual Assistant".
I’m often asked what’s the great secret to being an entrepreneur. I always reply that in fact there isn’t one, and that you just need to rely on your senses:
Team Member: Sofia Melara
Background: I’m currently studying Public Relations and this is my last year.
Position in UassistMe: Trainer
Official Position (what You actually do): Trainer and Business Analyst
What do you love the most about your job?: I love my job because it allows me to do new things that I have never done before and challenges me every day. It also gives me the opportunity to learn and grow professionally and personally. I think that working at Uassist.ME has made me more confident of my skills and helped me to discover that there is nothing that I can't do.
How would other people describe you in 3 words?: Responsible, Organized and Nice.
What are some of your favorite websites?: www.buzzfeed.com, www.amazon.com, www.netflix.com
What’s your favorite part about today so far?: Breakfast.
If you could learn one random skill, what would you learn?: How to decorate cakes.
If you could go anywhere you wanted, in the entire world, where would you go?: I would go to Paris because I’ve always wanted to travel to France.
What are some things that make you really happy?: Music,Good grades at college, traveling, running and shopping.
What is the strangest thing that ever happened to you since you started at UassistMe? (A strange assignment, phone call etc.): I had a client who was participating on a tv show called “Fashion Star”. It was really exciting for me to work with her because I love fashion and she is a famous designer, it was like a dream come true. If that wasn't good enough, one of my tasks was to watch the show every week and to manage all her social media activity. It was strange and funny at the same time because I had never been paid to watch TV. It was a great experience and I enjoyed it a lot.
Give us a quote or a statement that you live by: You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.
For some of us, it seems impossible to have enough room in our schedules for our job, familly, friends, and hobbies. Spare time is a concept that we have seen only in our deepest and wildest dreams. Well, the problem is really not that big, we just need to focus and organize our schedules a little more; no matter how busy they are, we can always have time for all of our daily activities.
Do you think everyone has what it takes to be a great boss? Take a look at these 12 outstanding personality traits of a great boss, chosen by www.officevibe.com. Do you agree?
Since online platforms/applications have taken over communication, social media must be one of the priorities for all business’ owners. Creating campaigns as a way to engage in smart public relations is not always easy, and it becomes even harder when we are not familiar with the current marketing trends.
But there is a way to keep up with all the constant changes in social media that could help us replicate the good results; the best way to know what is going on is checking on big companies, big names that will give us great ideas for successful social campaigns and valuable online marketing lessons.
Giving or asking for a raise have never been easy decisions to make. Whether you are an employer evaluating if your employee deserves a raise or you are an employee who is considering asking for a better salary, you should read the following featured article on under30ceo.com to find out what some entrepreneurs, including Alfredo the founder of Uassist.ME, expect from an employee before giving a raise.
Alfredo was featured providing tips for “14 Unusual Tips for Trimming Your Business's Budget This Year”, and the answers were provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) which is an organization that helps young entrepreneurs all over the world to grow their businesses.