Do you take a vacation or do you just take downtime

Do you take a vacation or do you just take downtime?

When you are a solo entrepreneur running a small business, it can be very difficult to take a vacation or holiday. Even when taking a so-called holiday, many small business owners take work with them. An Angus Reid Survey from a few years ago said that “53% of Canadian professionals plan to work one to three hours per day during their vacation.” After reading this information, we went to our office-for-rent clients to see what they did. What we learned was that there were many different strategies for taking time away from work.

A few of our office-space tenants told us that during the summer months, they will work 4 days a week and take a Friday or a Monday off. To compensate for not being in the office, they would inform their customers that they would be out of the office on that day but available in emergencies via their primary business phone number (that would be transferred to their cellphone). Another vacation strategy that some of our office tenants told us was that they would utilize the VoIP systems Telsec offers and work from the cottage, as if they were working from their actual physical office. Their clients would think they were at the office, but they were relaxing most of the day on the dock and opening their laptop only a few times a day.

A surprising vacation strategy came from a virtual-office client who works from home. Every day is a chance to take a holiday, work from home and work only when he needs to. The strategy is to work half days, every day. He talks and works for and with clients from 8 am to 1 pm, then all all client calls go to voicemail and deal with e-mails the next day.

We have talked about some strategies for getting in vacation and holiday time, but we want to hear yours. How do you get away from the office or take some downtime? Really, we and your fellow entrepreneurs want to know how you get away (without getting away)!