How to Prepare at the Office Before Going on Holiday

Everyone loves a holiday. But when we live in a world that is so connected, it can sometimes be challenging to switch off or get interrupted while you are away.

Many people never actually leave work. They take a laptop away with them and still answer emails while they are on holiday. And, if we don’t do that, many of still have our phones with us.

It makes you think if there is anything such as a holiday anymore?

Here are some top tips to help you get away from the office while on holiday.

Start to prepare early. Don’t leave it until the last minute. Start your preparation at least two weeks before your holiday. Think about the important tasks that you have to get done before you go and only focus on these. If it isn’t important, then try not to worry about them – but do communicate with people who may be expecting those things and let them know the situation.

Prepare with your team and delegate. If you lead a team, then ensure everyone knows what their individual responsibilities are when you are away. Make sure you have effectively delegated tasks to team members well in advance.

If you are a team member, work with your boss to agree who will cover your tasks while you are away. Again, do this well in advance and not just on the day before you go.

Make a plan for when you get back. You know it’s going to be busy when you get back. Note where you are up to with things and list the things that will need your immediate attention when you get back.

You’re going to have the holiday blues on your first few days back, and it always takes a while to get back into the swing of things, so advance preparation is an essential thing to do before you go.

Try not to take on anything new. Easier said than done, but try not to add anything new to your list of things to do before you go. Let then person who is requesting the task that you are on holiday soon and you may not be able to complete what they are asking before you go away.

Put your out of office notification on. Don’t be scared to use this. It’s a great tool for setting expectations of people who have tried to email you. If they know you are not there, then they will contact you when you get back. Leave an alternative email address or phone number (not yours) of someone they can contact if their question or query is urgent.

Change your voicemail. Set a voicemail that says you are away from the office and when you will be back. Leave an alternative number for them to call (not yours) if their query is urgent. You could set expectations with your team that if they MUST contact you, they should only do this one way, i.e. by text or WhatsApp and you will reply when you can.

Email the important people just before you go. Let people know that you will be out of the office. It isn’t a bad idea to let customers know that you will be away

Back up everything. If you are going to take a laptop away with you, make sure you have backed up everything before you go. Just in case your laptop gets lost or damaged while you are away.

Pick and choose what you respond to. If you do decide to look at email etc, when you are away, only answer those things that are super urgent. Let your out of office deal with the rest and pick those up when you get back.

Enjoy your holiday. Take some time for you. You’ve earned it. You’ve paid for it. You’re entitled to it. Don’t let work spoil it.