12 Things to do at work before going on vacation [+ Printable checklist]
So, you are going on vacation soon, how exciting!! Before packing and getting ready to go and enjoy your days off, you need to do a few things in the office before leaving. Grab your pen and a calendar; you will need to add some dates.
12 things to do at work before leaving on vacation
The first and the most obvious thing is to make sure that everyone is aware that you requested time off. This should be done at least 1 month ahead. Are you nervous to take some time off? There are a few things to consider before asking, check them here.
Remind your manager and clients that you are leaving on vacation soon. Send them a quick reminder a month before leaving and 1 or 2 weeks prior to your departure date so they don’t plan any additional work for you.
Think about who is going to pick up your workload, is it one or two persons? How are you going to divide the workload?
Is there any work that you can do before your vacation? If so, do these tasks before leaving. If you think you don’t have enough time, it might be a good idea to stay longer for a few hours. Your team will really appreciate it.
Are there tasks that can wait until you come back? If so, keep them for yourself, don’t overload your colleagues.
Write a TO-DO list of all your tasks so your team knows what needs to be done. In addition to the to-do list, is there documentation that the person picking up your work can use as reference? If not, consider writing a quick "how to" detailing all the steps. Psst, this will give you bonus points with your manager as well ;) Having this document ready will avoid having your colleagues call you on your time-off with burning questions.
Have a meeting with your manager & colleagues to go over the tasks that need to be done while you are away. This will allow them to ask you any questions without constantly asking over the course of a few days, or worst, call you while you are getting a nice glass of wine overlooking a vineyard. Is there a difficult thing that they need to do? Go over all the steps several times with them.
Do you deal with clients? If so, call them; let them know who will be the resource person during your absence. If they don’t know the person, you should introduce them ASAP. Go over the steps with the person replacing you and your client, this will make them comfortable to the idea of you not being there for 3 weeks.
Write your Out Of Office email (OOO) and change your voicemail on your answering machine. Automate it so that it goes live 1 day before you leave and 1 day after you come back. Why this buffer? This will get people used to the idea that you will not be there and that they should start having a discussion with another person. Also, we all know that when you come back, you will have thousands of emails, this will give you time to get back to reality without being submerged. Who said that your OOO message needs to be boring? Add a personal touch, get creative, tell others what you are doing, maybe you will ignite some wanderlust as well or be funny, here are some great examples. Say if you are accessible or not (although, you should always aim for an unplugged vacation.) Don’t forget to put the dates that you are gone and who to contact while you are out.
Clean your desk and or office, nobody wants to see a messy desk with a dirty cup of coffee.
Leave all your documents accessible to your coworkers and your boss. Consider leaving your passwords to one or two colleagues in case they might have to access a document that you forgot to share.
The day before you leave, do an update with everyone and make sure nobody has any further questions.
Most important of all, enjoy your well-deserved vacation!
Photo credits by Unsplash
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