The sun is out, and you’re ready for a break. In fact, you’ve just started planning your next vacation. But before you go, what steps have you taken to ensure everything runs smoothly while you’re away — and that a mountain of work won’t be waiting when you get back? According to a survey by Robert Half, it takes the average employee 1.5 days to return to normal productivity following a vacation. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you prepare for your upcoming getaway:
- Take note of the time. If possible, avoid taking off when there’s a critical deadline or when you are most needed. You don’t want to leave your colleagues or boss shorthanded at crunch time.
- Use out-of-office features. Before you leave, change your voice- and e-mail greetings to indicate that you are on vacation. Offer contact information for a colleague who can assist with urgent issues.
- Take an extra day. Before heading back to work, give yourself a day at home to unpack, do laundry, catch up on chores and call friends. You might also consider returning to the office midweek, rather than on a Monday, so you can readjust to your work schedule.
- Plan your first day back. In addition to wrapping up projects before you leave, make a schedule for the day you return. Plan to meet with key staff, get an update on projects and even consider scheduling a lunch out with coworkers so you can update everyone on your adventures.