So, your boss granted you the time off, and now you are all prepped up to leave the office for a vacation that was awaited since long. But, before you slip in the vacation mood, you need to do some things at work, so you don’t return to a pile of pending tasks and a bunch of emails.
You need to know which projects or tasks would be coming up in those days and deadlines that you are supposed to meet. It is advisable to prepare in advance for all the work before going on a vacation.
Here’s what to do before you leave the office for a vacation:
Before a month or two
- Tell your boss about your vacation plans, two months in advance, so that he (and you) can get a better idea about the tasks and projects that are scheduled for that duration.
- Let your boss approve the time-off request and send him an email after he grants you the time-off.
- Book your vacation on the Outlook and invite your manager. Make sure that you book your manager’s time as ‘free’ or else it would mean that you just invited your boss on a vacation with you. (And I guess you don’t want that!)
- Mark the duration of vacation days on your desk calendar.
- If need arises, remind your boss about your vacation time before a month or 20 days.
Two weeks before leaving
- Notify your co-workers or team members about the vacation through phone or over emails.
- Arrange a meeting to decide who your delegate will be for that specific duration so that you can let him/her know about a bunch of tasks that may come up when you are away.
- If you get an option to pick your delegate, pick someone who already knows how to get those tasks done and can do it easily. If your boss picks someone who will be your delegate, make sure he/she knows what kind of tasks they need to cover and the resources that may be required to accomplish them.
A week before leaving
- Make a list of tasks that need to be done before you leave the office for a vacation. You also need to keep track of deadlines that may appear when you are away from the office.
- You also need to know what you need to do after you return from your vacation so that everything runs smooth as if you never left.
- Make sure that the person who would be doing your part of the work knows everything about it and knows how to handle all those tasks.
- Invite your delegates to meetings and cc them in important emails.
- Clear your desk as it may require some time. You don’t want to rush into it on the last day, so it’s better to do that in advance by sparing a few minutes every day.
A day before leaving
- Set voicemail on your cell phone or office phone saying that you would be away from work before going on a vacation.
- Set auto-reply email that says you are out of office. Also, mention the name and contact details of your delegates so they can be reached for further details on tasks.
- Place a sticky note on your desk or your monitor to let everyone know that you’d be gone for a few days.
- If you are planning to work when you are away, don’t forget to take all the necessary documents and resources that you may require.
- If you won’t be replying to emails or calls, spread the word by informing your colleagues and supervisors that you won’t be replying to calls or emails during your vacation and then stick to it.