5 Items to Address before Vacation

If vacations are supposed to be a time of relaxation, then why can they feel so stressful at times? It can take a lot of effort to prepare, especially if you want to get the most out your time off from work. While it is important to plan for the basics like what to pack, the itinerary, or who’s taking care of the family pet, these issues can be flexible and pertain more towards your enjoyment of the overall vacation. When it comes to addressing your work, however, it might feel a little more complicated to figure out how to handle prepping for your absence. That’s why it’s crucial that you address important items from work early on otherwise you risk a number of issues occurring. Whether your plans are to hop on a plane to a new city or to relax at home, you will want to make sure all your affairs at work are in order. Follow these simple suggestions and your next vacation will be off to a great start.
The Right People
So just who are the right people? It’s simple enough to think about the on goings of your day-to-day, but figuring out just who should carry the weight of your workload can be a tricky situation and will vary depending on the workplace. For instance, it could be an individual co-worker who carries out your duties, but an important thing to consider is that, in this situation, they will have to add your various duties to their own, leaving them less time to do either. This isn’t ideal (especially if you’re leaving a lot of work) but sometimes your employer might not have any other options due to a lack of employees who have your specific skill set. You should talk to your supervisor as early as possible to discuss just who will carry on your work during your absence. Additionally, the workplace shouldn’t rely on this one person for smooth operations. Consider cross-training employees so that operations don’t crumble when another person leaves for a week.
With the right processes in place and, most importantly, followed, the transition between work, vacation and return should be fairly seamless. Be sure your week’s replacement understands your work processes prior to your departure. Summarize the work that will need to be completed in your absence on a list and include important details like its current status, deadlines, and the necessary resources they may need. Don’t let this be a guessing game. The more informed they are, the easier it will be for them to complete, which means a less likely chance that you’ll return from vacation with a pile of work on your desk.
Test Run
Often it’s not enough to simply hand someone the instructions and let them run with it. If the person dedicated to your tasks forgets a step in your processes, they might be left unable to continue the work if no one else is there to help. Therefore, you might want to consider guiding your temporary replacement through your processes to make sure they have your duties figured out. When you think they have a solid grasp, let them do a test run to see if they can do your work without help. Practice makes perfect, so let them repeat the motions until they are confident that they can complete the work properly.
Apply to Employees
Only 24% of the business owners claim they have never felt any larger issues stem from work-related stress. While your employees may not feel the same stress of a business owner, they certainly feel the pressure. Getting time to take time away from work is vital for one’s mental health, creativity and productivity. Be sure to have the right people and processes in place so that your employees can enjoy a vacation as well. As mentioned above, consider cross training your employees to avoid issues should someone go on vacation or even have some sort of emergency to address.
Escalation Plan
An escalation plan is a set of procedures in place that prepare for potential problems that might occur. Make sure the individual(s) covering for you are aware of the chain of command should something go wrong. This means informing them of who you usually go to in the case of any issues with your work. You should also make sure to include problems that might occur and provide clear instructions on how to handle them, which can be included with your list of processes.

With the right processes in place, you shouldn’t have to be concerned about work while you’re on vacation or if an emergency comes up. Give us a call today for an honest and unconditional conversation about how Spud Software can help you so that you can spend more time picking out luggage than worrying about work.