Going on a holiday? Leave your work at home!
Going on a holiday? Leave your work at home!
NiceDay blog: werk loslaten

4 out of 10 Dutch people can’t let go of their work during their holiday. Checking your email, making phone calls, or checking with your coworkers if certain tasks are done. Do you recognize yourself in this? Do you have a hard time leaving your work at home? Then keep on reading! You are going on a holiday to recharge, not to work!


When you communicate clearly about your holiday and leave your work communication devices like your work phone or laptop at home, you are less likely to work on your trip. To help you in the right direction, there are a couple of steps you can take to prevent you from thinking of work on your holiday.

One to two weeks in advance

  1. Prepare yourself for your holiday leave. You can delegate important tasks or responsibilities to a coworker. Make sure you take your time to do this thoroughly, so the chance is smaller that it sneaks up on you on your holiday. (Tip: make a list of it, save this en use it again when you have another holiday planned).
  2. Inform the people whom you work regularly with that you are going on a holiday. Name that they can ask important matters beforehand and plan some time to discuss this.
  3. Speak to your manager about not taking your work phone or laptop with you on your holiday. Make sure they have your private phone number in case of emergencies.

On your last workday

  1. Set a clear out-of-office message on your mailbox that you are on a holiday without access to your mailbox. Put the contact information of your colleagues who look after your tasks in the message, so it is clear for the sender where to go with their questions.
  2. Install a holiday voicemail message in which you say who to reach in your absence. Also, say that you do not listen to your voicemail on your holiday.
  3. Send out a reminder that today is your last working day. You will not be taking your phone and laptop with you, so they won’t be able to reach you. They can only reach you in emergency situations on your private phone (your manager has this number).

While packing

  1. Do not pack your work phone or laptop. Except if your job requires you to bring it.

During your holiday

  1. Try putting your private phone out of sight as much as possible. Your phone can distract you from your holiday, and messages on social media can also be work-related. Try being ‘off’ on all levels.
  2. When thoughts about work cross your mind, try to let them be for what they are. For example, by doing a mindfulness exercise. Focus on your breath or find some distraction. Look at all the beautiful things around you: nature, chirping birds, impressive buildings, the joy of your travel companion, the new culture, friendly local people, the smell of delicious food, or the taste of a nice drink. Be in the moment. Let work go.
  3. Do you find yourself laying in bed at night, having trouble falling asleep because of thoughts about work? You could try a relaxation exercise like this one.
  4. Of course, you can have new insights or great ideas about work. Do you notice that these thoughts keep popping in your head? Try writing them down to get them out of your head. You can bring the list to your work so you won’t forget any important ideas or inspiration.

The results

85% of the Dutch people have a positive mood after their holiday. Are you up for the challenge of making this number even higher? It is likely that with these tips and tricks it is easier for you to not let your work influence your holiday. You will get rested and recharged so you can go back to work well-rested, with a positive mood and full of new energy!

Relax. Unwind. Get in a flip flop state of mind.


When you think of work on your holiday, try writing down your thoughts and feelings in the ‘Feeling Registration’ of the NiceDay app. You’ll gain insight into what goes on in your mind and body.
Plan two activities in your ‘Daily Planner’ in NiceDay. Plan one 2 weeks before your holiday, and one on your last workday. Note the matching steps from this article so you do not forget any of them. Don’t have the NiceDay app, yet? You can download it here.

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Ilya de Groot

Hi, my name is Ilya, I am a psychologist and coach at NiceDay. I love traveling, good food, new experiences and exercising (roller skating and skiing). The balance between effort and relaxation is important to keep, are you managing? I would like to help you with that!

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