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How To Prep For Your Work Holiday

14 August 2018
Besma Whayeb
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Whether you’re a freelancer, work in an office, or have a team around you at all times, there’s a few things you need to do when preparing to go on holiday. Often, it can be hard to take holiday without feeling guilty – you could be letting clients down, turning work away, or making your colleagues work harder in your absence.

Our guide is here to help you to book your time away without causing undue stress, as well as giving you a clean break – no need to check emails or answer phone calls while on the beach!

1. Book well in advance

Just as you would book a flight well in advance to save money, book your holiday time in advance at work to save on stress. July and August are notorious for work holidays, so if you’re planning on doing the same, it might be worth booking it up to two months in advance.

For some workplaces, you’ll be required to apply for holiday at least two weeks in advance. If you’re not sure about this – check your contract.

And for entrepreneurs, while you don’t need to ask for permission, you do need to make sure your time off doesn’t coincide with any key projects. Warn clients in advance, especially those that regularly require your support or have service agreements with.

2. Let everyone know

When it comes to holiday, communication is key! While management might know the dates, your colleagues probably won’t – so send a round robin letting them know, or better yet, a calendar invite for your time away. It can help to highlight any clashes, and rearrange meetings to prepare for your absence. This also goes for any project management apps too, such as Asana or Basecamp.

And finally – don’t forget your contractors. Ask a team member to take over the relationship, so you won’t be pestered when you’re away.

3. Prepare a handover

For on-going work during your vacation, a handover is key. The handover should be tailored to your strengths – written notes may be useful to pass around (and can be checked over upon your return), while a brief meeting might be easier and highlight any gaps or questions before you go.

There is no excuse for not doing a handover – it might be extra work for you before your holiday, but it will save a whole lot more work that will land on your desk when you get back.

4. Put your out of office on

There’s a certain stigma around being out of the office, but we’re all entitled to time away! It’s better to let everyone know you’re away, so they’re not waiting on your response – and getting disappointed when you don’t! This is especially important for freelancers, who may work unusual hours and be expected to work outside of the usual 9-to-5.

Make sure to give options to people emailing you – perhaps a colleague’s email address for urgent issues, and of course the date that you’ll return.

5. Now – take a break

And we mean a proper break! Directors, managers, owners, and freelancers will often work while away – their business is incredibly important, but so is their mental health. Taking the equivalent of a digital detox will in fact boost your productivity on your return, and allow you to create beautiful memories, rather than being stuck behind a screen.