Although taking time off is very exciting, it's not a great idea to let yourself mentally check out before you've left the office. If you don't prepare correctly, you'll find yourself with many phone calls, emails, missed meetings, and questions from colleagues upon your return. To avoid stress when you come back from vacation, we've provided a checklist to help you prepare for your departure.
1. Place conflicts on your calendar
Put your time off conflicts on your calendar as soon as possible, so coworkers are aware of your absence. If you don't let people know when you'll be unavailable, they might schedule an appointment or meeting with you while you're away from the office. As a result, when you return to work, you'll see that you've missed meetings and phone calls, and you might even have annoyed or perplexed clients questioning why you weren't more responsive.
Calendly is a calendar tool that we recommend if you need some help. Calendly is a scheduling application that works with your email software to keep track of your availability.
Their technology allows you to schedule meetings with customers, clients, and coworkers. For example, you can enter your vacation conflicts on your Outlook calendar, and the Calendly calendar will automatically sync your conflicts to their calendar. This implies that others won't be able to book time with you while you're on vacation because your conflict dates will no longer be available on Calendly.
2. Create an automated email & voicemail
Because your coworkers and customers may question why you haven't responded in days, setting up an automated response is a good idea. Create an automatic email response as well as a voicemail greeting. It's best if your message includes a greeting, explaining why you'll be out of the office, the dates you'll be unavailable, and when you'll return. Some employees will even disclose another colleague's contact information for critical issues. Here are some samples of how you can set up your out-of-office messages in various ways.
3. Inform your colleagues that you'll be away
Because not all organizations employ a time-tracking system with a well-organized time-off calendar, your coworkers may be unaware that you are going on vacation. Although using automated email and voicemail is a good idea, sending an email to your coworkers about a week before you depart is still a good idea. This step will allow them to ask you any questions they may have and tie up any loose ends before you embark on your journey.
4. Contact your important clients
If you work with a client regularly, you should notify them that you will be away from the office. It's a good idea to let your clients and customers know that you'll be unavailable for some time, just as you did with your coworkers. If they need to take care of things while you're gone, give them the contact information for another colleague so they may obtain help if they need it.
5. Make yourself a checklist
Make an organized list of your projects and tasks to avoid a giant "to do" list when you return. Make a list of the projects you're currently working on and plan how you'll finish them around a week before you depart. Any critical notes, progress updates, and necessary papers should be written down and attached to a shareable form. Your colleagues will be more informed if you are more thorough. Please make sure you write down all of the facts regarding your work if someone else has to finish them while you're gone. Without particular notes and instructions, someone unfamiliar with your project may not be able to assist you.
Determine which jobs can wait until you return and which projects you must complete immediately. Before you go, what do you want to accomplish? When you return, what can you achieve? Once you've completed all of your projects and tasks, delegate the most critical and time-sensitive activities to team members who can meet them while you're away. You'll have a well-organized list of tasks to complete when you return.
6. Clean out your office
This one step is an important step that is frequently overlooked. If you're going on vacation for a few days or weeks, you must clean your office thoroughly. Clean your workstation, empty your trash can and water your plants. Nobody wants to smell 1.5-week-old banana peels in their garbage can, and they'll probably forget to water your plants while you're gone. Clean up and get ready for your arrival so you can get back to work re-energized and ready to go.