Summer is finally here, which means many of us will be counting down the days till we jet off on holiday. Regardless of how long your break is – be it a long weekend or a couple of weeks – it’s important that you carry out a detailed handover at work before you leave. If you don’t, you’ll spend your holiday dreading your return to work.
With this in mind, below are a few things to consider when handing over your work before a holiday.
Never leave your handover right to the very last minute. Start planning a couple of weeks before your holiday: make a list of what needs to be done before your leave and prioritise each task.
Make comprehensive notes
Before you leave you should make comprehensive notes, so when it comes to handing over your colleague will have a clear idea of what they need to do. Your notes should include a list of your daily duties and an approximation of how long each task takes. You may want to include important contacts, or hints/tips on how you personally approach your work.
The more detailed your notes are, the easier your colleague will find handling the work. After deciding who will take over the work with your supervisor, sit down with them and go over the notes together. This will ensure that any queries are resolved before you leave. Remember that whoever is taking on your work is doing you a big favour – a simple ‘thank you’ will go a long way.
One important thing about preparing for holiday is being realistic about what you can do. If you can fit in a few hours of overtime to reduce the workload, then by all means do it. Don’t, however, set yourself unrealistic goals and start working a string of late-nights to finish non-urgent work.
Most of us will agree that the first day back at work is always a struggle, so anything you can do to make your return a little easier, do.
Just before you leave, make sure you set an ‘out of office’ automatic reply for your e-mails and let your colleagues know when you’ll be back. It’s also always good to leave an emergency contact number; none of us want to be contacted while we’re enjoying some downtime, but offering your contact details will show that you care.