How to Prepare to Leave Work for a Vacation

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For many, Memorial Day marked the unofficial start of summer. Kids are out of school and families start scheduling their vacations. Typically, a lot of planning goes into a vacation; you have to arrange the travel, the lodging, the activities, and more. What about planning before you leave, though? Are you making preparations at work so nothing slips through the cracks while you’re gone? Read below for four things you should do before you leave.


  1. Schedule carefully. Before finalizing any plans, check with your HR Department to confirm how much paid time off you have available. Make sure you have enough before scheduling your trip. Then, make sure you get your vacation on the calendar as soon as possible. This helps your coworkers and supervisors prepare in advance, and potentially prevents other events from being scheduled during that time. Try to choose a time when you don’t have any large projects at work, or your vacation might not be as restful as you’d hope.


  1. Anticipate future needs. Look at your calendar ahead of time so you’re not surprised at quickly approaching deadlines when you return. If possible, work in advance on projects, or delegate tasks to others to make sure they get finished. It’s also a good idea to make a back-to-work to-do list that will be ready for you when you return. This will ease your transition and help you prioritize tasks instead of being overwhelmed right after your break. Before you leave, make sure you have finished any unresolved tasks so coworkers won’t have to deal with them at the last minute.


  1. Set your autoreply and voicemail message. On your last day of work before you leave, create an autoreply email and change your outgoing voicemail message. This helps to inform and remind contacts that you’re away. Otherwise, people may get upset that you aren’t responding. Be sure to include the dates you will be gone, and who to contact if there’s an emergency. Setting boundaries before you leave on vacation will help—do you plan on checking email and messages while you’re out? If not, make sure you communicate that in your messages. It will help you, too, especially if you find it hard to stay away from work.


  1. Designate a contact while you’re away. Plan for your time gone by letting your coworkers and regular contacts know in advance about the time you will be gone. That will give them an opportunity to let you know if there is anything they may need beforehand. Unfortunately, even the best planners can’t anticipate everything, so designate someone at the office to handle anything that might come up. Before you leave, fill that person in on any ongoing projects you have happening, and make sure they have access to the tools they may need.


Following these four guidelines will ease your mind so you can relax during your time away from the office. If you’re still worried about being gone, consider hiring a temp to fill in while your away. Call your local Penmac office today!

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