If you’re reading this, you probably have a vacation coming up. Whether you’re looking to get out of the office for a couple days or a full work week, it’s always smart to follow an out of office checklist.
To avoid stressing about work, while you’re away, follow these 6 simple “out of office” suggestions.
Assign your assignments
Don’t leave your work unattended. Ask your supervisor what needs to be prioritized and assigned. Schedule short meetings or phone calls with your co-workers that will oversee your work while you’re gone. Go over any upcoming deadlines and projects that need attention. Be sure to have an emergency contact number for your supervisor to have. Unless of course you’re completely unavailable.
Don’t wait until a few days before you’re leaving to let co-workers know they’ll be handling your workload for ‘X’ amount of time. Be respectful! If you can give a 1-month notice about your travels and time away, that will give your office family plenty of time to prepare to accommodate. Here at Crawford Thomas Recruiting, we have a shared calendar, that way everyone in the company knows who is out of the office and when they’ll be back. It’s extremely useful as the calendar will display whom is in charge of the person’s work while they’re out. Recap: Give your team a heads up at least 4 weeks out.
Don’t empty your inbox
Don’t spend so much time trying to zero-out your inbox before you leave. A good suggestion is to categorize your inbox:
This will help for when you return from vacation. You’re able to attack the to-do list first, and of course, answer your supervisor’s emails as well. I know a few co-workers that have their inbox set up similar, and they tend to carry themselves as much more organized compared to others.
Your work manual
Your work manual is not the company handbook. This is a small daily agenda you can leave for the person/people responsible for your work while you’re out. You can edit this document on a regular basis to reflect the projects you’re working on. This does not need to be fully detailed, just an outline of your time in the office. It is beneficial to your supervisor as well, as they can check in on your projects when you’re in and out of office.
Out of office
The glorious “out of office” auto-reply email. Keep it simple. Let everyone know when you’re coming back and when you’ll be able to respond to messages. Let them know who is taking over your work while you’re out, so that if there is an emergency, they know who to contact.
This is good practice for the office as well as at home. It’s just better to come back to work to a clean and tidy work area. Spend a few minutes, the day before you leave, to clean your work space. This is a good time to clean out any snacks or food in the community fridge.
Have a great time on your vacation, it’s probably well deserved. Leave your co workers prepared the way you’d want to be prepared if they were leaving you!
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