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After 182 days of nonstop grinding, I took a vacation in Europe.

I first went to Davos and then Paris. 



With countless nights spent working, my excitement was at its peak as I boarded the aircraft in the Delhi winter. 



I did a diligent knowledge transfer so nothing breaks in my 1 week of vacation. 



Day 3- I receive midnight calls from two colleagues. 



I see 2 missed calls and 11 text messages on WhatsApp in the morning. I had informed them of the time difference. They knew it was my midnight!



Day 4- I receive another text from my manager. He requests to get on a call. He needed some extra information about a client I had worked on earlier. 



Day 4 evening- I spend 2 hours in front of my laptop working. 



Day 6- I get another WhatsApp from my peers and managers asking me to enjoy my vacation but they need my help urgently as and when I back. 



I stop responding to texts and calls from them. 



As I onboard the return flight, I opt for complete silence from my side to shut myself off work for one last time. 



Upon my return, the data sent by me was not used at all and I realize from my 2 hours of work wasn't also urgent at all. 



I realized I cannot work in that firm anymore and fixated an end date for myself there. 



In the hindsight, I am mad at myself that I decided to ruin my vacation, didn't stand up for my well-being enough, and drew clear boundaries in the initial days. 



After this firm, I joined another firm. 



They offered me a similar role, a notch higher level just in a different industry. 



This time I stood up better for my well-being, off timings, and set no weekend calls culture. 



In this firm, I again took 10 days off. 



I was not reached out to by a single colleague during that time, just with an exception of a colleague who checked up on me if I was enjoying my time in Europe😃. 



Last week, one of my employees at GGI requested time off. 



Not only did I not reach him, but also ensured no other of my employees reach him for anything. 



Work can always wait. 



But nothing is worth someone's health!


--


Employees have a life. 



They also need "me" time. 



They are not machines. 



Don't treat them like one. 



If you aren't doing all of the above, you are incompetent to be a people leader.


If you are interested in learning about GGI's MBA Scholar program, you can learn here.


Author- Shatakshi Sharma, Co-founder Global Governance Initiative & GTI, Ex- BCG, Advisor; Tony Blair Institute

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