Going on Vacation? 5 Things to Do Before You Leave the Office

Have you ever taken a vacation, returned to work, and felt like you never left at all?  Unfortunately, that isn’t an uncommon occurrence.  However, that feeling can be prevented if you handle your work responsibilities in an organized way prior to your departure.  Check out our 5 suggestions for things you should do at the office before your next vacation:

  1. Plan for Your Return.  It may be tempting to schedule lots of meetings for the day you return but rather than doing that, plan to ease your way back into work.  Avoid making your schedule on the 1st day too heavy and instead, spend the majority of your time getting caught up on emails and voice mails.

  2. Let People Know You’ll Be Away.  To cut down on the aforementioned emails and voice mails, let your colleagues and clients know a week or two in advance that you’ll be out of the office.  Then, provide them with the name of a point person to contact in your absence.

  3. Clean Your Desk.  There are few things worse than returning from vacation to a desk overflowing with papers.  Before you leave, make sure that your desk is clean, papers are filed, and that you’ve left yourself a comfortable work environment to return to.

  4. Prioritize.  In the month prior to your vacation, you should assess your work priorities and determine which tasks are most important to tackle before you leave.  Handling high-priority items in advance of your departure will make it easier for you to relax while you’re away.

  5. Handle Administrative Tasks.  Change your voice mail message and set up an email notification letting contacts know that you’re out of the office.  Don’t forget to include the date that you’ll be back, as well as the name of a point person to be contacted in case of emergencies.