top of page

The Case for True Downtime: Why Senior Managers Deserve a Break

Antony Penny - AWP Consultancy


In today's hyperconnected world, the concept of downtime has become increasingly blurred, especially for senior managers. The expectation to remain plugged in even during holidays has become the norm, with laptops and work emails accompanying them to sandy beaches and serene mountain retreats. But should 'downtime' truly mean 'downtime'? As a Corporate Coach and Hospitality Consultant, I firmly believe that senior managers deserve a genuine break from work, free from the pressure of constant connectivity.

First and foremost, let's address the importance of mental and emotional well-being. Burnout is a very real concern in high-pressure roles, and uninterrupted downtime is essential for recharging and maintaining overall health. Stepping away from work allows senior managers to decompress, gain perspective, and return to their roles with renewed energy and creativity.

Moreover, true downtime fosters trust and empowerment within the organisation. When senior managers disconnect during their time away, it sends a powerful message to their teams: trust in their abilities to handle matters in their absence. Micromanaging from afar only serves to undermine the confidence and autonomy of team members. By truly unplugging, senior managers empower their teams to step up and demonstrate leadership in their absence.

Furthermore, let's consider the impact on work-life balance. Allowing work to encroach on downtime blurs the boundaries between professional and personal life, leading to increased stress and dissatisfaction. Senior managers should have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in leisure activities, spending quality time with loved ones without the distraction of work emails looming over them.

Of course, there may be exceptions to this rule, particularly in the case of catastrophic work-related events. However, these instances should be rare and genuinely urgent, warranting interruption of vacation time.

In conclusion, the notion of true downtime is not only essential for the well-being of senior managers but also for the health of the organisation as a whole. Senior managers should be able to disconnect from work during vacations, free from the expectation of periodic check-ins. By honouring the importance of genuine downtime, we can foster a culture of well-being, trust, and work-life balance within the workplace.

Antony Penny

AWP Consultancy

bottom of page