When you’ve worked hard all year, it’s important to take a vacation. Vacations are for traveling, relaxing and spending time with friends and family. They are not for worrying about work. Here are some tips to ensure you take some time away from the office with a clear conscience.
The keys to having a worry-free vacation are planning and organization. Take time to plan for the days you’ll be out of the office. If you take the following steps in preparing for your time out of the office, then you’ll be able to leave for your vacation worry-free:
First, four to six weeks before your vacation – or sooner if dictated by your company’s vacation policy – let your manager know you’d like to take time off and get it approved through the necessary channels. Try to plan your vacation around projects so that your absence doesn’t disrupt workflow.
Second, once your time off is approved, inform any colleagues and team members who are working on projects with you. Schedule status meetings as needed to keep projects on track before, during and after your vacation. Delegate any projects in progress to other team members to keep them moving.
Third, a week before your vacation, send an email to colleagues and clients reminding them that you’re going to be out of the office. Request that if they need to meet with you before you leave, they should notify you as soon as possible. Let clients know who they can contact in your absence and give them a status report, if necessary.
Fourth, activate an out-of-office notification in your email client. If you are unsure how to do this, put in a request to the IT department, approximately one week before you leave for vacation. Draft a simple message providing the following information:
The days you’ll be out of the office
The day you’ll be returning
Contact information — name, email address and phone number — for the person who can respond to urgent inquiries.
Fifth, change your voicemail message. Provide the same information as you did in your email auto-reply message.
Sixth, one to two days before you leave for vacation, schedule a brief meeting with your manager to review ongoing projects and provide updates.
The seventh and final step is to organize your desk and office before you leave. This is a good tip for every day at the office, but even more important when you’re going on vacation. When you come back from a relaxing vacation, you don’t want a messy desk greeting you first thing. Organize files, papers and projects so that you — or a colleague — can easily find whatever is needed. This also means there is one less reason for someone to call you while you’re away!
If you follow these steps leading up to your vacation, then you can leave the office confidently and stress-free because you’ll know that everything was taken care of before you left. You’ll impress your manager with your attention to detail and organization skills, and you’ll set an example for your colleagues to follow.
Soundview subscribers get in-depth summaries of the key concepts in best-selling business books delivered to them every month! Take your career to new heights by staying up-to-date with the trends and ideas affecting business leaders around the globe. Download a free sample now.