As you are reading this, I am probably coming back from a mini vacation while beginning to plan for a real weeklong vacation later this summer. Like most everyone else, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day responsibilities of the job. Hours become days, days become weeks, and weeks become months fairly quickly.

It is easy to get into Memorial Day weekend and realize that you have yet to take any time off this year. While I have already been on more than a few planes this year, my wife does point out that covering HVAC meetings for work does not exactly qualify as a vacation … regardless how fun all you guys are. And, she is right. If you don’t step away from what you’re doing and recharge your batteries, you’ll never function at peak efficiency. Everybody needs a vacation.

And, I’m guessing, my job is not nearly as stressful as the jobs of most of our contractor readers. Some of you have hundreds of employees who provide for their families with the paychecks they get from your company. That is a lot of responsibility and stress. HVAC is a tough industry, and with the ever-changing regulations, technology, and marketing, it takes a lot more than 40 hours a week to stay on top of it all. It would not surprise me to learn that you go to bed thinking about your company and wake up doing the same, though, hopefully, you are sleeping through the night.

Don’t you think you need a break from that? We are not just talking a day here or a day there. You need to get away for an extended period of time. Undoubtedly, for the first couple of days of vacation, you will still be thinking about the office. But, as the week continues to move on … so will you. When you return to the job, you will hopefully have a fresh outlook on all the problems/concerns/issues that you left behind a week prior.

What is the reason for not going? Will the organization come crashing down in the week or two you are gone? Is there nobody else who can handle the day-to-day issues that come up at work? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, then you have a big problem. You are not hiring the right people, or you are not training them properly.

But, let’s be honest. That’s probably not the case. It’s simply the fact that you have the most invested in the business, and it’s hard to give up that kind of control. I’m assuming you have practices and policies in place for almost any situation. I’m sure your trusted employees will follow those procedures. They might not make every decision you would have made, but I’m pretty sure the building will still be standing upon your return.

Would you ever dream of having an employee who went an entire year without taking any vacation time?

NEWS Editor Kimberly Schwartz recently wrote a cover story on contractors who are reevaluating vacation and time-off policies to make their businesses more attractive places to work. A well-rested employee makes better decisions, connects more with customers, and is generally more enjoyable to be around. If that is true for your employees, it’s probably the case for you, too. Also, like in my case, it can only help with the spouse and kids.

So, enjoy the summer. For all involved, I hope it’s very hot all across the country. But, make sure to leave time for some relaxation so you can look at your business with fresh eyes.

Publication date: 6/1/2015

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