Now that many of us are going on vacation, planning a vacation, or returning from one there are a few things you can do to “maintain order” and keep things going in the right direction. Here are a few basic tips to make things easier when you are gone, easier when you return, and generally make everyone — including outside clients — happier and more relaxed whether you’re around or not.
Create a vacation plan . . .
If you’re leaving for a vacation, make sure you have all your work covered and that you’ve provided clear direction (as needed) on who handles what when you’re gone. Write your vacation plan down and create a “vacation checklist.” Use both!
Review your vacation plan . . .
Check in with your boss and colleagues to review your vacation plan and vacation checklist and see if you have left anything out.
- Make sure anyone you are delegating to appreciates exactly the types of communications they may receive in your absence and how best to deal with them.
- Double check to be certain you haven’t forgotten details like letting people know you won’t be attending routine and recurring meetings.
- Don’t surprise people. People at work never like surprises that come from colleagues, bosses or clients. Don’t make your absence someone else’s “nightmare.”
Check back in . . .
Do a formal check in with all the same people when you get back from vacation. Talk with your boss, colleagues, and those you delegated to. Find out what happened and how your vacation plan and vacation checklist worked out. If you made some mistakes, quickly take responsibility and try to set things right ASAP. Use your experience to adjust future absences from work and help others plan for theirs. Don’t lose the lessons and make a self commitment not to make the same mistakes again.
Remember . . .
- When you are gone, be gone.
- Enjoy your vacation.
- The more detached you are while away, the more productive you’ll be when you return.
- Think twice about sharing too much (or anything) on social media with work colleagues while gone. Do people really want to see you having the time of your life? Friends and family likely would love to hear from you, but work colleagues? Not so much.
And finally . . .
Don’t check up on people when gone. Add that to your vacation plan and vacation check list. If you have delegated properly and have things covered be trustful that things will go well. If you aren’t relaxed letting people do what they commit to, you likely have bigger problems with your relationships at work than a short blog can solve. Let us suggest if you are leaving with great anxiety about what will happen in your absence, give some time to thinking why that may be and how you might solve that problem when you return. Resist the urge to micro manage from afar.
If you’re hoping you’ll be missed you should rethink that too. If you really leave people alone for awhile they just may miss you for all the right reasons and share that when you return. You’ll then be sure you’re doing something right. It’s called treating people with respect and understanding consistently – whether you’re onsite or off.
Have a great vacation! Learn from it!