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不插电休假三步走

Anne Fisher 2013年07月26日

把手机扔在身后,不接电话,不回邮件,完全抛开工作,过一个不插电的假期。真的能做到吗?普华永道一位高管的答案是:我能!遵循她从实践总结出来的经验,采取三个步骤,你也一样可以做到。

    米歇尔•李是纽约市普华永道会计师事务所(PwC)的税务合伙人。她有一个愿望清单,希望到六十岁的时候,能游览100个国家。到目前为止,她已经游览了65个国家——包括加拉巴格群岛和马丘比丘,还去南非海岸完成了潜水探险,与鲨鱼来了一次亲密接触。今年的计划是:11月份去巴厘岛居住一周时间,完成冲浪课程。

    最有趣的是,她每次出行的时候,都尽量把智能手机放在一边。李说:“我通常会有意选择手机信号比较差的地方。我喜欢去遥远的地方,不论是从精神上还是从身体上。”

    现在,能做到这一点的人似乎越来越少。比如:在线会议公司TeamViewer和哈里斯互动公司(Harris Interactive)对1,094名全职员工进行的调查显示,2012年,在职美国人有52%预计会在度假期间工作。而今年,这一数字增加到了61%。其中,有40%表示,他们会阅读与工作有关的邮件,而54%预计会回复公司的短信息和电话。

    五年前,普华永道高层确定了一件事,如果公司30,000名(现在为37,000名)员工集体休假,完全远离工作,那么等他们回来之后,他们会更有精神,效率也会更高。普华永道执行董事珍妮弗•艾琳回忆道:“有一年秋天,公司非常繁忙。我们担心如果中间不休息,直接进入繁忙的春季,员工们可能会精疲力竭。于是,在12月份,我们连续放了10天假,鼓励他们完全远离工作。许多员工告诉我们,那是他们度过的第一个没有工作打扰的假期。”

    那次尝试非常有效,度假结束后,员工全都精力充沛,于是“不插电”的假期成了普华永道公司文化的一部分。这种做法之所以可行,一个原因是,整个团队和部门在大型项目之间同时休假,这样就不会出现下面这样的情形:留在办公室的人拼命联系坐在海滩上惬意享受的同事。

    米歇尔•李认为:“它确实需要提前进行大量计划和沟通。但通过努力和练习,几乎任何团队都能够做到。”米歇尔•李负责管理约40名下属。她推荐了下面三个步骤:

1. 计划休假时间时,邀请客户参与,包括内部客户。李说:“对于大客户,我们会在一个大的日历上,写下他们的放假时间和我们计划的假期,然后把日历发给所有有关人员。这样一来,所有人提前都知道了,何时可以找到相关人员。”此外,在每次启程前往未知的地方之前,她都会向客户和其他参与具体项目的普华永道员工发送提醒函:“他们可能忘记你什么时候休假,所以提醒函可以让他们有机会在你离开之前,提出问题或者他们关心的事情。”

    Michelle Lee, a tax partner at PwC in New York City, has a bucket list. She wants to visit 100 countries by the time she's 60. So far, she's taken vacations in 65 of them — including a journey to the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu, and a shark-diving expedition off the South African coast. This year's plan: A week-long sojourn to Bali in November, complete with surfing lessons.

    The best part is, she makes it a point to ignore her smartphone when she travels. "I've often deliberately picked locations with really bad cell reception," says Lee. "I like to get far, far away, mentally as well as physically."

    Fewer and fewer of us, it seems, manage to do that. Consider: In 2012, 52% of employed Americans expected to work during their vacations, according to a survey of 1,094 full-time workers by online-meeting firm TeamViewer and Harris Interactive. This year, that figure climbed to 61%. Of those, about 40% said they'd be reading work-related emails, while 54% anticipated fielding texts and phone calls from the office.

    Five years ago, top management at PwC decided that the firm's 30,000 (now 37,000) employees would come back more refreshed and productive if they got away from work altogether. "We had had a particularly hectic fall, and there was concern that people would burn out if we went straight into our spring busy season without a break," recalls Jennifer Allyn, a PwC managing director. "So, over the December holidays, we gave everyone 10 consecutive days off and encouraged them to unplug completely. Many employees told us it was the first work-free vacation they'd ever had."

    The experiment was so effective at recharging people's mental batteries that unplugged vacations have since become part of PwC's culture. One reason it works is that entire teams and departments take off all at once, in between major projects, so that no one's stuck back in the office trying to reach a colleague who's sitting on a beach somewhere.

    "It does take a lot of planning, and a lot of communication, in advance," notes Michelle Lee, who manages about 40 direct reports. "But with some effort and practice, almost any team could probably do it." She recommends these three steps:

    1. Involve clients, including in-house customers, in scheduling time off. "With big clients, we write their time off, as well as our own planned vacations, into one big calendar that we send to everyone concerned," says Lee. "That way, everyone knows ahead of time who will be available when." She also sends reminders to clients, and other PwC employees involved in specific projects, before taking off to parts unknown: "People tend to forget when you're leaving, so reminders give them a chance to raise any questions or concerns before you go."

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