Everyone will agree that the first step before going on vacation includes setting up an email and voicemail alert stating the dates you will be away. This ensures that the person contacting you is aware of your current absence and will prevent them for expecting a prompt reply. However, we often still get disrupted, unable to enjoy our vacations and end up on the phone every 15 minutes because there are always things that need attending to. To avoid this happening to you this summer, here are three easy things you can do to prevent work from interrupting your vacation:
Call in helpers before you go
Work clearly does not stop when you go on vacation, it is important that in case of emergency, there is someone present who can either contact you or be available to solve any client issues. Prepare your contacts — Plan in advance who will respond ‘to what’ work queries in your absence. This may mean asking multiple people to assist you. Create a mutually beneficial agreement by offering to do the same when they need any assistance. Communicate this ‘back-up’ plan to your customers, peers, colleagues and boss ahead of time in person and via email. Put this information on your out-of-office email responses and voice messages.
If you can’t say no – Set boundaries of availability
Firstly and most importantly, let your colleagues and customers know that you won’t be responsive. As idealistic it is to be able to just say no on your time away, sometimes that just is not the option. Learn to set boundaries. Allocate times for when someone can contact in case of an emergency. Informing in advance is key. This shows that although you care about the company, your time should be respected without being contacted every 15 minutes.
Checking in every two to three days
Just to be sure that you aren’t missing out on anything urgent! Although this varies a lot from the environment you are in, it may be a good idea to check in once in a while to show your firm and coworkers that you are around if desperately needed. This will reflect your commitment and responsibility towards the firm.