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In the new ‘normal’ world, most companies have adopted the work-from-home culture, while some have adopted a mix of work-from-home and office. Working from home has somehow affected our daily routine, and the daily working hours have surprisingly increased. There is almost no boundary between personal and professional life. Afternoons blend with evenings, weekdays blend with weekends, and the concept of ‘time off’ has a new meaning. Millions around the globe have made a sudden transition to remote work amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. This has made some employers concerned about maintaining employee productivity.
But what they really should be concerned about in this unprecedented situation is a long-term risk: employee burnout.
Many of us are hesitant about taking leaves while working from home. But it is absolutely okay to do so, even if you’re working remotely. Everyone needs a break, no matter the environment. Taking a break rejuvenates the body and increases productivity. You may also need to take some time off to care for an unwell family member or yourself.
Taking time off might seem like a difficult thing to ask for, especially when so many employers may reason that working from home means their employees are enjoying work-life balance. But it’s far from the case – and certainly a dangerous generalisation.
How To Ask For Time Off In The Age Of COVID-19 And Work-From-Home:
1. Re-evaluate your company’s leave policies
Your company’s leave policies might have changed since shifting to remote work. Aside from setting new remote work policies, the company might have adjusted the rules for paid or unpaid leave.
2. Justify your reason for needing time off
If you are entitled to take the leave, give a brief justification about why you need the holiday.
3. Decide on start and end dates
Mention the specific time period of the leave when applying, so your bosses know exactly when you will be unavailable.
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4. Give your boss a heads-up via his/her preferred communication method
Before formally applying for the leave, it is preferred to inform your boss and request him/her to grant it.
5. Put it in writing
After informing your boss, apply for leave in writing following the process of your organisation.
6. Inform everyone who needs to know your schedule
Shoot a mass email to your co-workers, informing them about your scheduled time off. You may set an automatic reply, too.
7. Offer ways to get in touch with you if something urgent comes up
Ensure that people know how they can contact you if urgent concerns arise, or who they should contact in your absence.
Asking for time off when you work remotely can seem intimidating, but if you need the break, you should take it. What’s good for your mental health in the short term will be better for you and the company in the long term. Remember that, as an employee, you’re still entitled to leaves and breaks; you just have to approach your managers and HR team the right way.
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