Seven Things You Mustn’t Forget before Your Vacation
How to prepare for your vacation? What to do so that you don’t have to pick up urgent calls while trekking in the mountains, or reply to company emails sitting on the beach? How to manage all your work-related affairs before you leave for holidays? Read on to find out what you should remember so that you don’t have to start your day on vacation browsing the company inbox.
The right replacements
The key issue while planning your absence is naming the right people to replace you. You have to make a series of choices, taking into consideration not only the range of duties, but also their experience and general scope of competencies. Have they already been performing tasks similar in nature to what you do? That’s great! Even if they don’t have all the necessary information, they will know whom to ask, or what resources to use, when in doubt. Is it advisable to ask your boss for suggestions for your potential replacements? Sure, as long as you do it well in advance.
Communication and onboarding
Do you remember how much time it took you to onboard in the new workplace? You need to conduct a similar mini-onboarding for any person who will be running your projects while you leisure on the beach. Whether you delegate to just one person, or some – you still need to do quite a bit of writing, so that your replacements are given specific instructions, all the necessary files are linked, resources are made available and appropriate access privileges and authority are granted.
Read also: Seven Easy Assertiveness Exercises.
Meetings, Questions & Answers
The meeting where you fill your coworkers in, and delegate your tasks, needs to be really well prepared. Any project taken over by somebody else needs to be adequately described, and its critical points need to be laid down clearly. There is no space for “you’ll be fine” attitude here. It is worth to devote even several hours to write down particular processes in detail in the form of a schedule, so that you don’t see several dozen missed calls on your company phone when you’re back, isn’t it? The pre-holiday meeting will facilitate the delegation of duties, as it will be a great opportunity to clear any ambiguities easily.
Templates, sample documents and checklists
Creating document templates that can be needed while you are away may seem obvious. The catch is that we usually get around to doing it too late, while for the everyday work comfort it is a good idea to keep all the repetitive content in one place, whether they are a payment request form, a pricing template, or a client brief. Each of those should come in the form of a document “pinned” to the entirety of the project documentation. Checklists work really well too, and they will allow your replacements run things without missing important details. Bad news is that no one will prepare them better than you – so there you go – even more writing.
If you have any payments due to enforce, your responsibility is even grater and the options to delegate are even more limited. Make sure you record in your calendar all the notices about the need to credit any cards, incoming payment terms or reporting costs, and make them available to your coworkers. Apart from making schedules available to your replacements and those responsible for bookkeeping, it is also a good idea to let the external services suppliers know that you are going to be absent. If the transfer comes late, at least they will know the reasons for it and they will be more understanding.
Notifications, autoresponders and call forwarding
If you have taken care of the internal company communication, you shouldn’t have any major issues on your last day before you leave. Take this time to deal with the technical stuff: making your calendar available, describing documents and projects correctly, granting authority to appropriate persons – and most importantly – making sure that everything works. Recording an absence version of your voicemail greeting and turning the forwarding option on are just a formality.
Announce your absence in advance
Of course you remember about turning the automatic absence reply function on. Surely you realize that it has to be slightly different for the employees than for the persons from outside the organization. Or maybe it is a good idea to include a short note about your coming vacation in the email footer or a post scriptum? It’s enough to do it a week or two before you leave. It will make all the other preparations easier, as the interested parties themselves will ask you whom to contact when you’re away, or what they may need, before you go on your well deserved holidays. Such a reminder also helps avoid possible complications or misunderstandings within the company.
The “Polish Workers Holiday Habits – summer 2011” survey shows that only as few as 18% of the respondents turn the company phone off when on vacation. If you follow the above pointers, you’ll join this group quickly and you’ll be able to fully enjoy your well deserved vacation.
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