Online stores are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Unlike brick and mortar stores that close at certain hours of the day, e-commerce businesses need to be manned at all times. Customers may call or send an email in the middle of the night, or on a Sunday when you should be relaxing and spending time with your family. Online business owners don’t really take a break – and they bring their work with them everywhere they go.
But research shows that taking a vacation can give you numerous health benefits that not only improve your overall well-being but also the performance of your business. So why not treat yourself to a great holiday by traveling to a place you’ve always wanted to visit and staying in top-notch luxury vacation rentals?
One study conducted by a UK-based organization known as Nuffield Health, alongside psychotherapist Christine Webber aimed to find out how taking a break influences a set of key health indicators – ability to recover from stress, quality of sleep, blood pressure and emotional health.
In the study, there were 2 groups of people – 1 group stayed at home while the other group went on a holiday. The results showed that those who went on a vacation away from home had an improved ability to bounce back from stress by 29%, reduced their blood pressure level by 6%, and improved the quality of their sleep by 34%.
Given that the future of your business depends largely on you, it makes perfect sense to take a break every now and then.
As any online business owner knows, this is easier said than done. It’s hard to take our mind off work when you get emails and text messages every half an hour from your customers and staff. But here are some bits of advice to help you find time to enjoy a short holiday without necessarily taking your business for granted.
Plan it well.
Plan well in advance so that you can prepare for any issues even before they happen. You’ll need to inform your suppliers that you’ll be away for a few days and need to re-order so you don’t run out of stock when you’re a thousand miles away. If you have employees, then you’ll need to pick someone who can take charge of running your business while you’re on vacation and that means you need to train them properly in advance. Make sure that the person-in-charge knows when issues should be escalated and who they should contact when they do.
Automate your social media tasks.
Your social media accounts do not have to take a holiday when you’re away. You can schedule your posts in advance using tools like Hootsuite. Just set the time and dates the posts will go live. You may want to assign someone to reply to comments and messages in your social media accounts, if you don’t want your followers to wonder what’s going on.
It’s OK to check your email and e-commerce website every once in a while when you’re on vacation. Just remember that you could end up responding to vendors, employees and clients, especially when you learn about a piece of bad news. So check if you must but you need to set a limit to this and train yourself not to get caught up with work when you’re trying to take your mind off it. Otherwise, it just defeats the purpose of going on a break.
Whether your idea of a vacation is backpacking in South America or drinking margaritas at a tropical resort 3,000 miles away from home, no one needs to convince you of its benefits. It’s good for your health, good for your mind and good for your business, too.