Pre-Vacation Organizationby Martha Li
published May 26, 2010
Don’t leave the office in disarray before you jet off for your much-needed vacation. Do a favour for your colleagues, your manager and especially for yourself by making sure your workload is in order. Here’s a handy, practical checklist of things to do before you bid “adieu”.
One month before
Plan ahead. Look over your calendar to review the projects you are working on in the upcoming weeks. If there are any deadlines which need to be met close to your departure date, prioritize these tasks so that they are completed on time.
Notify Human Resources of your holiday. There may be a vacation policy in place which you may not be aware of. You may be required to fill out a company form so HR can keep track of the number of vacations days you have left, any vacation pay that you may be owed and other employee details.
Two weeks before
Set up a briefing session. Coordinate a meeting for two days before your departure date with your colleague who will be managing your workload. Arrange a specific date and time so you can concentrate solely on briefing your co-worker on your projects.
One week before
Tackle tedious tasks. Draw up a list of the tasks you do on a regular basis. If there are simple daily or weekly duties that can be taken care of ahead of time, be sure to tend to them rather than leaving them for a co-worker to do.
Schedule a date with your boss. Schedule a formal meeting time with your manager for the day before you leave on vacation. On your last day at the office, you don’t want to take off without touching base with your manager.
Two days before
Alert clients and other external contacts. Advise those whom you deal with closely of your absence. Whether by email or by phone, your clients will appreciate being personally notified by you.
Brief and train your colleague. Make sure this person knows where all your current project files are. Train them on any necessary procedures that need to be performed in your absence. Your colleague will appreciate your organizational skills if you provide him or her with a detailed sheet of what needs to be done and by when. If there are tasks that are more important than others, make sure to highlight them to your co-worker.
Review outstanding projects. Take care of the most important assignments so you’re not left scrambling to complete them the next day—the final day at the office before your vacation begins.
One day before
Change your voicemail message and set your email on auto-reply with an “away from the office” message. Include in your message important details such as your return date and the contact information of a colleague who is taking care of any urgent issues that may arise while you’re away.
Have a formal meeting with your manager (the one which you scheduled with her one week before) to update her on the status of your projects.
Bon voyage! Say farewell to your colleagues and manager and leave your work at the office where it belongs. Happy vacationing!