It’s near the middle of summer, so you and your coworkers probably have some big plans for vacation. It seems there’s always friends and family to visit, new places to see, and more adventures to be had. Are you completely prepared to comfortably leave work at work? Below are tips to take into consideration when you’re getting ready to take time off from the office.
1. Bring everyone up to speed.
Nothing is worse than having a confused team without a clear sense of direction. Inform your coworkers when you’ll be leaving and how your daily tasks will be taken care of in your absence. This sets the stage so you can delegate duties that will need to be completed, including tasks that will be due while you’re gone and work you’ve started but needs to be finished by someone else. Delegating tasks not only clears up any gray area about who does what, but also helps make an easier transition for when you’re gone.
2. “Can you hear me now?”
Remember to communicate to your team, and possibly clients you frequently speak with, about how and when you can be reached while you’re away. It may be critical to also mention how easy it will be, how often you’ll be near your phone or computer and for what circumstances should you be contacted. It is possible that, on your mountain climbing escapade, you won’t have cell service.
3. Set up an autoresponder for your inbox.
To remind your coworkers that you’ll be out of the office, it’s a good idea to set up an autoresponder so they won’t be expecting your reply in the next 24 hours. In addition, it may send a signal to whoever is trying to contact you that they may get a more immediate response contacting someone else. You don’t have to include why you’re out of the office or where you’re going, and only include a time frame if you are okay with people contacting you right away on your first day back. In addition, you don’t have to use the boring, dull autoresponse of doom. Taking into consideration your workplace culture and clients, you can have fun with your away message! Include jokes, gifs, or even pictures.
4. Get ahead.
Now that you’ve decided who on your team is taking over what tasks, you can make the transition easier by preparing the work that needs to be done. Depending on the task, that may include meeting with them to clarify or providing an example of what is expected. A day or two before you leave, if you have time, also prepare yourself for work that you will need to jump back into when you get back. This will relieve some feelings of being overwhelmed when you settle back into your daily routine.
5. Enjoy your time off! (Seriously.)
Your brain deserves a mental vacation, too. While you shouldn’t directly ignore coworkers if they reach out to you, take a deep breath, allow yourself to take it easy and realize there’s most likely nothing you can do for the situation right this minute, unless incredibly urgent. A great example of why you should inform your team about how easily it will be to reach you, but allow yourself some space if you feel it’s necessary. In addition, giving yourself this space will let you come back to work refreshed and as sharp as ever.