We’ve all been there – taken a week off to spend some time with the family, had a great time, then you have to go back to work. You return to a full inbox, loads of voicemails to go through, never mind the fact that none of the work you left with your colleagues has been completed. By lunchtime, you feel like you’ve never had a break and by the end of the day, you’re thinking it might have been better not to have any time off at all.
But we all need time off. It’s good for our mental health to take regular breaks from work, and what’s the point of working if you can’t go on holiday and enjoy spending some of that hard-earned cash? So, if we need our holidays, how can we better prepare for our time off so that when we come back to work, we don’t feel as stressed out as we do now?
- Find out who will cover for you while you’re away. Speak to your boss about who to hand over those all-important tasks to. Make sure that person is aware of what needs doing and how they need to complete it. Do they need training on the software or just help to set up reminders to complete the tasks on time? Make sure you give them a proper handover, written is preferable so they have something to refer to while you’re away.
- Complete as much as you can before you go. If there’s lots of little things that need completing, highlight the ones you can do before you go. You’ll have a much better chance of the other tasks being completed and you also have the satisfaction of crossing some things off your to do list before you go on holiday.
- Don’t book or attend any important meetings the day before you go on leave. You need to make sure you have time to cover your workload while you’re away and going to meetings where your workload is likely to increase for the next few weeks won’t help you get everything sorted before you leave the office. Where possible, ask to move the meeting, or decline attendance. This goes for anything on your first day back too. It’s hard enough getting back to work after a relaxing holiday, but knowing you have a three hour meeting on your first morning won’t help you to catch up and settle back into work effectively.
- Decide what won’t need covering. Maybe that spreadsheet doesn’t need updating while you’re away, or that meeting can be skipped by the person covering for you. Don’t hand over tasks that can wait until you get back – not everything needs to be completed while you’re away.
- Let them know about potential issues. If there’s always a payment issue with a certain account or certain person always rings in with the same issue, let the team know so they know how to deal with it when you’re not there. This can also fall under the above point – if you know something may come up while you’re away, give your contact a call or drop them an e-mail to let them know you’ll be away and can deal with their problem when you come back.
- Let people know. Make sure the people who need to know you are away know the dates you are unavailable, preferably in advance. That gives them time to address any potential issues before you go on leave, meaning your colleagues aren’t picking up issues while you’re away. Don’t forget to put an Out Of Office on for your e-mails and voicemail. There’s nothing worse than waiting for a response from someone and not knowing they’re on leave. Make sure your out of office notice lets them know who to contact if their enquiry is urgent and the date you are due back to the office so for non-urgent queries, they know when they can expect a response.
- If your workplace expects to be able to contact you while you’re away, be clear about the boundaries of this. Set times where you can be contacted via phone or will respond to e-mails. There’s nothing worse than having to work while you’re on holiday, but if you are clear with the boundaries, it’s easier to keep things in check and not let it get out of control.
Follow our points for a successful handover and enjoy your time off. Whether it’s a week or a month, sit back and relax knowing your colleagues are well prepared in your absence. Your preparation will pay off on your first day back when it’s clear who was responsible for what – you’ll be able to pick up the thread of outstanding issues quickly and effectively.
So what’s this got to with The Wage Shop?
You might be on leave, but we will still process your payments while you’re away, making sure you’re all up to date and compliant for your tax and National Insurance contributions.
Don’t forget we also offer a Payment Advance service so if you run out of beer money on holiday, you can log in from anywhere and request your advance. Check out the website for more details or Contact Us to find out more.