Obviously, vacation is a delight. Sometimes, though, you forget it’s happening amidst everything happening at the office. Take steps before you leave to make sure your vacation is stress-free for you and your co-workers:
Tell people. First, make sure everyone who needs to know knows. Make sure your boss knows far enough in advance to be able to plan. Make sure your co-workers know so you can help split up project work.
Keep people informed. Make a list of all the upcoming projects you are working on and their status. What tasks are up next? Who is doing what? If there are specific situations you anticipate in your absence, write them down with detailed instructions on who should handle them and how.
Don’t let yourself be the bottleneck. If there are too many tasks to get completely finished before you leave, focus on the ones that require your work specifically to progress. Don’t let yourself be the person who prevents a project from moving forward.
Empower others. If you aren’t around to make decisions, empower others to make them on your behalf. Especially for smaller tasks, let people know they make decisions without feeling the need to hear back from you.
Make a to-do list. After a week of perfect disconnection has set in, it’s hard to remember what priority tasks have to be handled right when you get back. Make a to-do list right before you leave for vacation, and then be done. Don’t think about work until you come back and tackle that to-do list.
Don’t forget your out-of-office! Keep it simple: “Thank you for your message. I will be out of the office (out of the country if you will have limited access to Internet) until Monday, March 16th. I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.”
And then, once everything is set, be done. Leave. Have fun and don’t think about work. Enjoy your time out of the office so you can enjoy your time in the office. Have fun on vacation!
Lindsey Sampson is a junior International Affairs major with minors in Social Entrepreneurship and Writing. She enjoys writing about Millennials in the workplace and social media as a marketing tool. Follow her blog here and tweet her @lindseygsampson