Written by Caitlin Chapman – Recruitment Consultant (Legal Support) Sydney NSW
Taking leave from work is always exciting and we all deserve a break from work and the opportunity to completely tune out. However, this is often harder in practice and depending on your chosen profession, can require careful planning and preparation. Below I have listed some tips on how to ensure your time off work is as seamless as possible and your return to work, not so chaotic!
- Prepare yourself! Try to ensure you have all urgent/pressing work finished up prior to taking your leave, not only for your own sake, but also for that of your colleagues and clients/customers. Try to plan ahead and complete any work you can in advance, the more prepared you are in the weeks leading up to your leave, the more seamless your break from work will be. Don’t forget to also set up an Automatic Reply on your outbox prior to going away.
- Prepare your colleagues! When preparing to take leave, it is also essential to prepare your colleagues. Remind your colleagues in the weeks leading up to your leave when you will be going and ensure to send them calendar invites so they are aware of the exact dates. You should also select a colleague that you work most closely with to specifically help cover you. For this colleague, you should provide detailed instructions on everything that needs to be done to cover your desk and anything you require them to do. Your colleagues will only be all too happy to help you out while you are away from your desk and will know that in return, you will do the same. I would suggest having a comprehensive written brief and instructions left for your colleagues as well as verbally explaining the list and ensuring your colleague or colleagues have a full understanding.
- Prepare your manager! Your manager should be aware of your time off work well in advance as you would have had to request Annual Leave. However, in the weeks leading up to your leave, it would also be useful to have another in-depth discussion with your manager to ensure they are aware of any significant deadlines or duties that need to be performed/met in your absence. This can ensure that if for whatever reason your colleagues run into problems, your manager is across the situation and can step in if needed.
- Prepare your clients/external stakeholders! If you work with customers, clients or any other external stakeholders, it is important that you inform them of your leave in advance. It may also be necessary (depending on your area of work and length of leave) to introduce the colleague who will covering for you. This can ensure a smooth transition and that customers and clients are put at ease whilst you are away.
Having followed my above tips on preparing for your leave, you should be able to leave your desk stress free and enjoy your holiday! Bon Voyage!