Breaking the monotony of the daily schedule, you’re finally going on vacation. Congratulations! This is your chance to be away from all the stressful work and focus on the moment with long vacation, take in the scenery and give your mind and body a break. Say goodbye to cubicles, regardless of how little time it might be. It’s time to pack your bags and relax.
However, leaving things unfinished or scattered before leaving will only put you in a worse position after your return. Leaving any loose ends at works do you more harm in the long run.
Things Employees Need to Do Before Long Vacation
To truly a vacation to the fullest, you must plan your work before, during, and after it. Good planning is the first step towards a stress-free holiday. Make sure to check your vacation tracker to keep track of how many days you can actually be away. Here are some tips to make your trip more enjoyable by handling the pressure at work:
Interestingly enough, a common reason behind many people not going on leave is because they fear the immense work pressure before and after the vacation. They struggle with wrapping everything up prior to leaving. After their return, they are overwhelmed with the workload. It’s of utmost importance to schedule time properly.
Prepare a list of what needs to be done before leaving, as well as all the projects that have to be completed right after you get back after your holiday. Share your plans with HR well ahead of time so both parties are on the same page on what has to be done.
Work ahead to ensure everything on your list is check off before the actual date of the trip. But try to keep the day before departure empty for other personal errands. Sacrifice occasional lunches by eating at your desk but strike tasks off your list one by one.
Spend a few late nights at your workplace if that means your deadlines will be met. You don’t want to miss out on relaxing holiday fun worrying about tasks.
Make a Checklist
If you like staying organized, you probably make a checklist for everything. It’s simple to use and convenient. Attach your checklist to a board or keep it inside a file. Aside from the part of getting any job done, the satisfaction of striking something off the list is truly something different.
Send an Email Notification before and During Leave
Don’t just leave out of the blue the moment your leave gets granted. Notify your co-workers, manager, clients, and anyone who is professionally associated with you. Give it distinctiveness by making it bold.
Early notifications will save you from a world of plans when you come back to work. All employees are interconnected in the business cycle so everyone has their place. Even though you’re supposed to be on vacation, your employees or managers might require a bit of your time at any moment.
It can be pretty annoying but you don’t want to harm your work and the company for 5 extra minutes of relaxation. Your office can be seriously mad at you for not leaving any contact information at all.
Through email notifications, you can also your co-workers or managers send in potential concerns. It’s best to solve everything before leaving (if the problem is fixable).
Set an auto-reply in voicemail and email containing a message about your absence.
Handover Tasks and Deliberate Responsibilities
There’s a great thing about businesses that allow interchangeable work. Your work has to be done by someone else in your absence. Try to appoint everything to one person only.
If it’s a competitive project, you don’t have to hand over every detail. They just need to know the following:
- Issues or risks to anticipate
- Deliverables during that time, if any
- Sponsors’ and stakeholders’ contact information
- Decisions that must be taken
The list can be customized based on the project at hand. Try your best to bring your colleague(s) up to speed about them. For that, arrange a short meeting with the co-worker of choice.
Compile all the required data in one document that they can use as a reference when they need help with a situation. Make sure the priority is set correctly so they stick to what’s the most important. Lastly, keep in mind that they have to finish their tasks too/
Some companies provide their employees with automated software to track their project progress. If you use one that the organization uses as well, provide your co-worker access to it.
Trust and Empower Teammates
Are you leading a team on a certain project? Vacation is a great time to practice handing over control to another person within the team. The more comfortable you are with deliberating tasks to your team members and trusting they will do it, the more successful your vacation will be.
Have faith that they will be able to finish the tasks properly and learn when to let go. Micromanaging everything will have repercussions for both you and your teammates. Observe but don’t feel the need to interrupt.
Contact High-priority Customers and Clients
A week before your vacation, tell your top clients about your plans. Ask them if there is something that needs to be done before you leave.
This gesture lets them know that they are important – that they were on your mind. In case a problem does arise, it’s best to solve it before embarking on your vacation, if possible.
Clean Your Workspace
It’s nice coming back to a tidy, inviting workstation. After all, returning to work may not be the best feeling for some. Take a few minutes to clean up your desk before leaving.
Arrange the important documents, label anything that you could forget about later, and just get rid of any clutter. The sight of a clean cubicle after returning makes you feel energized. Plus, you won’t struggle to find the necessary mail or paperwork.
Sort through Email
Pre-vacation is the perfect time to sort through your inbox so it doesn’t give you a headache upon return. Take a few hours to:
- File old emails
- Complete tasks in the designated folder
- Delete unnecessary emails
Another helpful trick is to make important emails “unread.” Your email service will keep the message at the very top in the bold inscription.
That way, you’ll remember to give them a read when you get back after a week or two.
Plan Method of Communication
A few questions need to be answered before your departure. In addition to that, ensure your co-workers are in the know too.
- Am I accessible through email?
- Will I check my voice mail often? If yes, set a message to let anyone know why you won’t be readily available.
- How frequently will I entertain calls or texts?
- How much I will check in on my project in progress?
Don’t lose track of time in the process! Utilize PTO tracking software to maintain an account of how many leaves are available to you. HR may cancel your leave at any moment due to unforeseen situations.
Under those circumstances, the software will generally send a notification through phone and email. The Day Off app keeps you connected to your co-workers and superiors.
Thanks to the boon of technology, you can now choose whether you wish to be active with work during your vacation or not. Given how easy it is to finish tasks on a phone, it really depends on your concept of “work-life balance.”
Do you want a vacation completely devoid of work stress? Are you fine with spending 30 minutes a day with your laptop in the hotel room to check in with the office? Or perhaps, you are amazing at multitasking and don’t mind working? Answer these questions.
Why You Need a Leave
A day off once in a while promotes better mental and physical health in the workplace. Not only that but it also improves work-life balance.
But what are the exact reasons you should drop your files and head to spend some quality time on vacation? Personal reasons aside, there are other factors too. Yes, there are legal obligations involved.
The Law Demands It!
When you are accurately tracking your pay and leave, you are under the official protection of the Holidays Act 2003. Under this law, all employers are required to keep precise records of the daily hours an employee puts in and their designated pay for those hours.
In addition, they must keep data of entitled leave, leave accrued, and leave taken. Types of leaves are:
- Annual leave – A minimum of four weeks per year after every 12 months of employment
- Public holidays – Maximum of 11 holidays per year given those days would normally work
- Sick leave and bereavement leave – Generally after six months of employment
- Parental leave – A combination of unpaid and paid leave determined by eligibility
Over the past few years, multiple studies have concluded that calculating annual leave payments have become a major concern for businesses, both big and small. Some have been caught for severely underpaying the employees on leave.
Accurate leave tracking will save companies from a fine imposed by the Employment Relations Authority or ERA. If they’re extra unlucky, they might get caught red-handed by a Labor Inspector and end up on the news.
For a company, effective leave management and tracking can reduce costs to a great extent. It is exceptionally convenient on both ends. Your PTOs have a major financial impact on your company’s accounts as well as the many other indirect implications.
Administration costs increase on one hand while they run the risk of overworking their staff. It goes without saying that overexerting yourself will make you vulnerable to multiple safety and health problems.
Most of the time, the tracking process is slow since it’s done manually. By using a time off app, employers and employees can optimize the system.
You won’t have to run to your HR for a leave application neither will you have to make uncomfortable conversation with them for it. Plus, a leave tracker takes the paperwork out of the equation, making the procedure cheaper and easier for everyone involved.
Proper Leave Planning
Sick leaves are harder to control but you can surely control when you get a little time off. Let’s be honest, no matter how much you love your job, you will need a moment to step back and enjoy life as it is.
Properly planning your leave lets you prepare well in advance for any impact your absence might have. Planning holiday cover and annual leave in advance will significantly decrease work disturbance.
Confidence and Well-being
Your organization has multiple ways to show you it cares. A primary one among those is offering enough paid time off and vacation days. This makes employees happier, more dedicated, loyal, and engaged in the tasks. Many of the newer, better leave management systems (Employee time off tracker) let employees check their leave balances and apply for time off electronically. This process is much more transparent and the automation cuts admin costs from the business.
Leaves are important for your mental and physical health. Work-life balance is a burning topic right now. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy – keep that in mind. Satisfied, recharged employees are less likely to unexpected ask for leaves or be sick.
So, if you want to maintain solid productivity at work, know when to take time off it. The logic seems reverse but it works!
Even a workaholic can enjoy a great vacation if they plan properly. Find the right time and follow the steps mentioned before stepping out of the office. You are sure to have a great time. Keep a close eye on the employee leave tracker app to make sure everything is running smoothly.