Summertime = Vacation Time. Are you prepared to add up your responsibilities before you jet off on vacation from your company? Here’s a list, check it twice, to make sure your absence goes really nice.

  1. Check your employer’s vacation policy to see how much vacation time you can accrue per year and when you have to give notice of your absence for vacation.
  2. Give your travel plans and contact information to your manager in case you need to be reached in an emergency, so they can let clients and other staff know how long you will be gone.
  3. Put your “out of office” message on your email so that recipients know you are not in your office listing the first date you will be out and the date you will be returning to your office.
  4. Don’t leave your office in a mess. Clear off your desk, put items away, clean up your area, and tie up any loose ends on projects. You don’t want to be on vacation worrying about the mess you left at the office. When you return, you and your desk are ready for a fresh start.
  5. Bring business cards with you. You never know who you might meet that could be a great contact for you or your company.
  6. Set your screen saver on your phone and computer devices with a phone number for someone to call should you lose one of these items. Note: Don’t put your cell phone number on the screen saver of your cell phone. Use a friend’s phone number or your office manager’s phone number.
  7. If possible, have someone monitor your email and phone calls while you are away. If this isn’t possible, try to pick a certain time to check on these so you are not bombarded when you return. Remember, you are on vacation and you need unplug to focus on yourself, family, or traveling partners. So only check email maybe once a day, and only for one hour. Things can wait until you return and if your “out of office” is on, people will know you are on vacation and won’t expect, nor want most times for you to reply. Relax!
  8. Buffer in a day to return from your vacation when you can be at home and tend to home and/or work things before you report to the office the next day. Coming home at midnight and getting to the office by 8:00a.m. can make for a cranky and hectic return.
  9. Set time in your schedule the day you return to review mail, email, phone calls, and touch base with other staff members.
  10. Be sure to thank anyone who covered for you while you are away with a kind gesture like a handwritten note, gift from your travels, or even just a heartfelt thank you!