Remote Working Series: Catching Up After a Holiday
Whilst travelling these past 8 months I’ve had the chance to see some amazing places, I’ve also had the chance to take breaks from work and enjoy my time relaxing in each of the countries I’ve stayed in. Holidays and breaks are an essential part of keeping your mind working at peak condition, without regular breaks both short stints during the working day and longer holidays to recharge, software development (personally speaking) can lead to burnout.
What is Burnout?
Burnout is a phenomenon which can lead to high levels of stress, exhaustion and a general lack of wanting to do anything. As a software developer it is something you never want to experience as once it happens it can quickly become a vicious cycle, a cycle of working until burnt out, taking time off to get your energy back and so on.
Have I Experience Burnout?
So far, this year I thankfully haven’t experienced burnout. With having so many new things to see and do I’ve regularly taken a few days each month to explore the new country I’m in and take a break from the stresses of work.
How Do Holidays Affect Work?
There are many ways in which taking regular holidays can affect your work routine, many of which I feel are a positive. But for me it’s all about limiting the chance to become burnt out, it also can help you come back refreshed and energised. For creativity in the workplace, time away can help let ideas and solutions to problems percolate in the back of your mind.
However, there are some downsides to taking holidays. You can lose momentum in your work, which you’ve built up over time and depending on the amount of time you spend off things can change in work, e.g. your list of tasks or work practices.
For me personally, I think the positives outweigh the negatives. But a few situations I found difficult were times when I had taken time off which coincided with a change in country. These were particularly tough because of the shift in time difference. I found it hard because my momentum was broken from previous weeks of work, and by taking a short holiday to see the new country it was difficult to get into a good routine.
Sometimes after these changes in country it would take me a few days to get into a good groove. That however, has been one of the only problems I’ve had whilst travelling and so far I’ve used my time off to explore ancient temples, play golf with my dad (who visited me in Cambodia), find amazing craft breweries and relax on perfect beaches during beautiful sunsets.