You may have chosen the destination of your dreams, with quality friends in an idyllic setting, but you will not be able to fully enjoy your vacation if you have not made the necessary preparations before leaving, including at your office. Overview of these little tasks that will let you leave serenely on vacation and return confidently to work.
Tasks to be accomplished
In the last week before you leave, list all the important things you can think of and rank them: urgent and important files that must be dealt with before the day, those to hand on to a colleague and then the subjects that can wait until you get back. Writing down everything that bubbles up to the top of your head lets you free your brain to focus on your work. In addition, you will have immense satisfaction in checking off each action you have completed and realize that all is well for your departure. As a matter of organization, give yourself the week ahead to finish urgent files by reserving the last two hours of work to make sure that everything is under control. Arrange a meeting with a competent and trusted colleague to whom you will delegate certain of your files in your absence. Be careful not to be overdemanding of him.
People to warn
Remember that the business continues to function while you are on vacation. So leave an out-of-office message – on your voicemail and email – which must be clear, concise and professional, indicating your departure and return dates as well as the name and contact details of the person to contact in case of an emergency. One small tip is to remember that if you give out your cell phone number you run the risk of being harassed at your holiday sport… Do you really want that? However, you can leave it with a colleague or a superior who will use it in case of extreme urgency. If you really want to look at your emails, limit yourself to once a day (preferably at noon or late afternoon). If you have regular contact with customers or suppliers, don’t hesitate to make a phone call to warn them of your coming vacation – this will demonstrate your professionalism and the attention you give them.
Looking after your return to work
To avoid losing the benefit of your vacation as soon as you return, avoid leaving a mess in your office. The day before your vacation, free yourself time to tidy your work space and make it pleasant by deciding to undertake the things that you have been putting off. It’s the time to organize your filing, file your papers, wash your desk, throw away your used pencils, clean your keyboard and coffee cup, empty your waste basket, remove perishable foods from the fridge, untangle your computer cables, scan the business cards scattered on your desk, water your plants one last time before asking a colleague with a green thumb to take over while you are away, in exchange for a small souvenir from your vacation. Finally, don’t overload your first day of work and ideally put off meetings to the following week so your first days can be dedicated to urgent and sensitive files.
Successful vacations also depend on preparation at the office – so give yourself the time required to wrap up your files, warn your co-workers and arrange your office so that it will seem pleasant to you when you return, refreshed by your vacations…