It’s officially summer 2021 and a lot of us feel like this is the first time we can break out and go do something. We all had a crazy 2020 and it’s time that each of us gets a little break. It’s the season for vacations so here are some tips for taking time off and not worrying about what’s happening at work.
You have the vacation time and you’re ready for a getaway. As soon as you know the dates you’ll be out of office, communicate with your team. Mark it on your calendar, bring it up in team meetings, make sure everybody knows ahead of time you will be out and when. That way, the office can plan accordingly to cover the work you are responsible for.
Your dates are confirmed, so it’s time to prioritize your responsibilities and plan for your absence. Do you have anything on your calendar already that you need to reschedule? Who will cover some of your responsibilities while you’re gone? Think about your daily tasks and how you might handle those. Something as simple as setting up and scheduling an “Out of Office” reply takes care of daily email while you’re out. This little message shows you plan ahead, you’re transparent and you know the importance of communication.
What tasks should be completed before you go? Once you get back? We all have deadlines… what do you need to accomplish, send off, schedule, etc. so you won’t have to step away from your relaxation time to work. All the tasks that need to be done will be done, and all the deadlines will be met. Forecast what tasks might be coming in. If you are working to get some things sent out that may be time sensitive, be sure to copy the co-worker that will cover this area while you’re gone. Let them know what they should be expecting and how to proceed.
What is a vacation? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Vacation is:
- 1: a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation
- 2a: a scheduled period during which activity (as of a court or school) is suspended
- 2b: a period of exemption from work granted to an employee
Read that again.
That means you SHOULD NOT be doing any work when you are vacationing. Turn off those email notifications, silence your Slack or Teams, and do not answer calls! The reason you are away is to rejuvenate and refresh. Unless there is an absolute business emergency that ONLY you can handle… you should not hear from your co-workers!*
*Remember that for when your co-workers are on vacation too!
It’s your time!
You are using valuable paid time off to spend the way you want. It’s important to communicate and plan for your absence so nothing gets lost or dropped when you’re gone; so you don’t have to do any work when you are OFF; and so you aren’t completely overwhelmed when you get back. Time to yourself can do wonders for your mind, body, and spirit. Take full advantage of the time you are given.