In today's work culture, many people find it difficult to take some time for themselves and take a vacation away from the office. This is especially true in fast-paced areas like Silicon Valley and San Francisco, where sometimes the work can feel like it's never-ending. Studies have shown, however, that people work better after they've taken a breather. With summer right around the corner, it's a perfect time to take some time off and get away from the office! How do you appropriately handle leaving the office and all your work behind, though? And how do you jump back into work when you get back from vacation?
What to do before you leave the office:
- Communicate - Let people know you will be gone. Of course you tell your team that you will be gone. But it is also a good idea to remind your regular contacts of your vacation schedule a few weeks ahead of time. Also, create an Out of Office reply for while you are gone. Hybridge can help you out with this.
- Delegate - Identify which colleague will cover for you while you’re out. You won’t be able to tie up every loose end before you leave and you will need someone to cover the day-to-day tasks you typically perform. This person will also most likely be the person who you direct contact to in your Out of Office reply.
- Plan – Make sure you thoroughly update your work manuals before leaving. Create step-by-step informative documentation for projects or your day-to-day tasks so your team can remain on top of things while you are gone. It will also help reduce questions you may get while on vacation.
How to jump back into work:
- Plan for your return – No, this doesn’t mean think about work while on vacation. Instead, make sure you have thought out your return before you even leave for vacation. Try to come back on a Saturday instead of Sunday so you have an extra day to recover and adjust back to reality. Also, make sure you don’t schedule anything big for your first day back in the office.
- Tidy up your workspace – Once you return to the office, you will likely be met with piles of papers and mail. Take the time to sift through it. It’s hard to clean up and accomplish everything else, when you are staring at a cluttered desk.
- Lay out a plan of attack – Create a to-do list depending on what is the most pressing for you. More will be added to this list once you go through your emails and voicemails. Then tackle one thing at a time. You are going to be behind, it’s inevitable and everyone else knows it. But don’t try to tackle everything at once. You just came back from a relaxing vacation. Don’t stress yourself out your first day back.
Perhaps the most important rule out of all of this is remember to take a vacation in the first place. Whether you take one now or in December and whether you go to Paris for a few weeks or San Diego for a couple days, just take the time off. You deserve it!