There is nothing better than planning a big vacation for yourself or your family. While we all spend hours doing research on booking the cheapest flights and hotels, buying travel sized toiletries, and packing our bags, there is much more that should go into planning any big vacation away from work. We focus on the things we need to make our vacations great, and often times forget to consider the things we need to do to ensure everything runs smoothly at home and work while we are gone.
I recently took a two and half week vacation with my family, and while I had the most amazing time, 13 days is a lot of time to be away from any job. If you have an “office” job like mine, taking that much time off often means someone else is doing your job for you, on top of their own. In order to set your co-workers up for success there are steps you must take before leaving on holiday.
- Communication, communication, communication. Before you leave, set up a group of people who can support each other in case someone you rely on ends up sick. Be sure anyone you work with on a regular basis is aware of your vacation before hand, discuss any and all ongoing projects, and delegate appropriately and clearly.
- Training. Share any resources you use to complete your daily tasks, create work instructions, and even walk your co-workers through your tasks step by step if needed. The more prepared you leave your team, the less you will need to worry about things being completed.
- Set a system of Checks and Balances. All the training and prep in the world can only prevent so many issues. Cross training multiple co-workers on your tasks will ensure a system that allows others to double check any work or ask for help if needed. You can also set parameters to each task in a checklist, ensuring each step is properly followed.
Setting up your co-workers for success while you are gone may seem like a daunting task, but it will save you and your employer grief in the long run. Imagine spending time while on vacation answering phone calls or emails to solve an issue that could have been handled without you. Making sure everyone is trained is your responsibility if you want to truly “unplug” while on vacation.
If you do everything you can to ensure things run smoothly with you gone, it truly is possible to take a vacation and never think about work. While on vacation with my family we ended up in a remote area with no WiFi for almost two weeks. Complications like this can arise on any vacation, and being prepared will ensure you have no need to worry about lack of communication. Being able to truly unplug while not worrying about business is possible if you set yourself up for success before you even step foot in the airport.