Before you go away try to leave your work in a ‘tidy’ state and leave comprehensive holiday notes for anyone covering your job while you have a few days off. Where possible try to schedule in advance or circulate things early.
Depending on the turnover of your work try to start your holiday notes a week in advance to make sure you have covered everything. If you rush something together in the final moments before freedom you are more likely to omit something important. Start too early and the ‘current position’ will have changed by the time you are leaving the office.
I have created a #flashfreebie as an example of the template that I use for my holiday notes which could be adapted to suit the needs of your job.
Flash freebie: Holiday Notes
Whatever form you choose to complete your holiday notes in, just make sure your colleagues are aware of the following:
- Urgent Items – what deadlines must be met, what bills must be paid
- Items you have left with another colleague – be clear about which of your colleagues you have left work with, and brief them before you go. All colleagues who have been allocated work to cover should be emailed a copy of your holiday notes (and your secretary should have a copy too).
- Which items can wait until your return
- Any phone calls, post or emails you are specifically expecting.
- Note the “Current Position” in case a client or customer phones ‘for an update’.
and before your leave the office don’t forget to:
- Tidy your desk and leave files in the proper place so people are able to find them in your absence.
- Make sure anyone actively covering your work knows where relevant files and documents are.
- Turn on your Out of Office.
- Change your answer phone message if this is company policy.
- If you need another member of staff to ‘sign things off’ make sure you ask them first and don’t just assume. Have a workable system in place.
Once you have done all this you can rest easy and have a stress free trip (and hopefully not get any emergency calls or emails).