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Before You GO.O.O - How to Prepare for Your Vacation from Work

Throughout the summer months, most of us look forward to some much-needed vacation time. Many companies now offer more vacation time than before, with some employees scoring unlimited vacation days. What’s your destination? Hopefully, if it’s one we’ve covered in our #FindMeIn series, you’re arriving prepared. Once you’ve got all of the planning and packing done, you may just be counting down until takeoff. But your planning is not done yet - you must prepare to leave and arrive back smoothly. Here are our five tips:

  1. Let your office know, as soon as you can. Whether you work under one boss or multiple clients, be sure to give everyone a heads up that you will be unavailable during your vacation time. If your workplace uses Google Calendar, add in a week-long event (or however long your trip is) for your time, and simply label it (NAME) PTO. This way, before someone schedules a meeting or a sends an invite, they will know exactly the dates when you will be gone. A Google Calendar note works well for your coworkers, but be sure to alert your immediate superior and team members in person or by private email.

  2. Plan your time. It may mean working a few more hours the week before you leave, but planning your time is essential if you want to have a relaxing vacation and not come back swamped with work to catch up on. Try to anticipate what tasks could come up during your vacation time and do as much as those ahead of time as possible. You could also ask your clients or boss if they anticipate any needs that you should take care of before you head out.

  3. Organize your desk and set your O.O.O email. Many people forget these critical to-dos, but they are of classic importance. Organize your desk (and lock it if necessary) before you leave; it will make that first day back so much easier. Set your O.O.O email the moment you leave the office on your final day. In it, be sure to include the email of another coworker for urgent cases (we recommend the office manager, as he or she can best refer the case).

  4. Enjoy your vacation! Try, try, try not to check your email, messages, or even social media while you are enjoying your holiday! If you take quality time to wind down, it will help your productivity in the long run.

  5. Arrive early on your first day back. Arriving just one hour earlier than usual can give you some time to catch up so you can get right back into the swing of things. You don’t want to wrap up your peaceful vacation with work stress!

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