A holiday should be a relaxing break from your busy work life. However, if you don’t adequately prepare for it, you could return feeling even more stressed than you did when you left! Efficient planning will allow you to enjoy your holiday worry-free, so we have put together a few tips that we hope will help.
- Be strategic with your schedule Many people worry about getting up to date with their workload before going on holiday, and then worry about catching up and being overwhelmed when they return. In fact, that’s why some employees avoid taking holidays altogether.
Try to avoid booking anything important to close to going on your holiday or on the first day back. Give yourself a chance to relax!
- Consider your backups If your company has an on premise backup solution rather than cloud, you may be responsible for taking the backup tapes offsite. In your absence, another employee must take over the role of looking after the backup tapes (or alternatively, use cloud backup).
- Turn off your devices It goes without saying that your PC should be switched off while you are away, notably for longevity, power usage and security (unless you wish to leave it on for the purposes of a remote desktop connection while you are away). However, if you have a wireless keyboard and mouse, it is also advisable to turn off these devices to avoid flat batteries when you return from holiday.
- Create an Out Of Office email message and outgoing voicemail Upon your return, you won’t want to listen to 10 angry voicemails from the same person wondering why you are not returning their calls. Nor will you want clients tracking you down at the beach with urgent questions and requests. To avoid this, set up an outgoing voicemail and autoreply email that say how long you will be out and who to contact in your absence.
- Contact high priority clients or customers a week or two before you leave Let them know you will be out and ask if there’s anything they need before you leave. It’s a great excuse to reach out to them; it demonstrates that you’re thinking of them; it gives them enough warning so that you can help them with any issues well before you leave; and it will give you peace of mind.
- Look ahead at your calendar Check the work calendar in and around your holiday so that you can anticipate things clients or colleagues may need and may come looking for right in the middle of your holiday. Doing this will again ensure greater peace of mind.
- Make a checklist In fact, you should make several, such as a ‘holiday/family planning checklist,’ an ‘essential to-do before departure,’ and finally, a checklist for what you know you will need to do the first day you return to work. Getting this last one down on paper is critical for reducing stress.
- Let colleagues know well in advance of your holiday plans Send a reminder note a week before to give them plenty of advanced warning. That way if they need anything from you, it’s on them to get in touch before you leave. And again, you come across as professional, considerate and service-focused.
- Trust your team If you are in a leadership position, holiday is the perfect time to practice letting go and trusting your team or key individuals with more responsibility. The more you can do this, the easier each successive holiday will get.
- Finally, enjoy your holiday! If you have followed this guide and made the appropriate preparations, there is nothing else to do other than enjoy your holiday and relax.