It’s OOO (out-of-office) Season!

In anticipation of summer holidays, we checked in with the experts on the best way to disconnect from the office – and why it matters. This shouldn’t be shocker, but studies show people who take their holidays are happier and healthier. Your summer vacation can help you sleep better, reduce anxiety and depression, lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease.

According to one study, women who vacationed regularly were 50 percent less likely to die from a heart attack. Gulp.

In case those aren’t reasons enough, or you’re one of those people who lives for their work life, holidays are good for business, too. Studies show people who utilize their vacation time report lower stress levels at the office, increased productivity and better work-life balance. We repeat: taking a summer vacation is not slacking off – it’s ensuring you’re at the top of your game when you are at work. 

TIP! How to write your OOO. It’s probably the last thing on your mind as you head off on holiday, but adding the auto-responder to your email is essential. Be sure to include the dates you’ll be away and a forwarding contact, if applicable. And, here’s a bonus, this could be a way to reach new clients or contacts, too. Add a lead to a company newsletter, discount offer or other content you want to promote. 

And if you’re breaking from social media, too – and Twitter or Instagram play a role in your profession – it doesn’t hurt to post that you’re signing off for bit. This way all of your colleagues can respect your break – and hopefully you’ll return to a slightly smaller inbox.