Summertime and the living is easy. Or is it? While the city feels quieter, the roads clearer and lunchtime queues a teeny bit shorter, it is quite obvious lots of people are out of town on their summer holidays.
In a fast-paced, always-on City how easy is it to switch-off when you set that ‘out of office’? Is it possible to reconnect with your family and friends and disconnect from the office?
Here are some tips for creating that work/life balance while on holiday.
- Set the scene: Prior to jetting away to your far-flung exotic destination, be sure to drop it into conversation with colleagues, clients and suppliers to make sure they are aware you are away. This may mean certain project deadlines are moved earlier or later to accommodate your absence but that is a fairer conclusion than them dialing you into a conference call while you’re about to take a siesta.
- Create the perfect handover notes. The concept of handover notes, isn’t to off-load all your work to colleagues, but to brief colleagues on essential actions that require attention while you are away. It would be impractical to assume colleagues can do (and will do) all of your work while you are out of the office, effectively giving them two jobs to do. The more comprehensible your handover notes are, the less likely anyone will need to contact you urgently to ask a question. Make sure to include all contact details of any third party suppliers or freelancers you use.
- Give a clear out of office message. You are not going to respond to their email until your return. Make that clear in your out of office email. Give an email address of a colleague for anything urgent and let that colleague know you are doing so.
- Change your voicemail message. An easy one to forget, make sure you change your voicemail on your desk landline and business mobile to inform the caller the date you will return. It is a good idea to also mention you won’t be checking voicemails until your return date.
- Make a decision regarding your email: When it comes to managing your email, you need to make a plan ahead of schedule and stick to it. Check your email periodically and only for 15mins at the same time each day. You may want to check first thing in the morning, or in the evening depending on which timezone you are on compared to colleagues. Immediately file anything you know can be read later at leisure such as newsletters or marketing mail and delete anything which is junk.
Anything sent directly to you can be opened and read and flagged to respond on your return. DO not reply while you are away, it’ll only prompt further conversations on the matter. If it is urgent and requires a response, forward to your nominated colleague (the same one mentioned on your out of office). File all emails where you are CC:d – you can read these later. When reviewing your emails on holiday, remember the people that this effects.
You spend more time at work than at home, so just once or twice a year, switch off the work email and phone and concentrate on relaxing and paying attention to a different kind of priority.
If you have a Compass Offices virtual office, our team can field all calls and messages for you and hand them over on your return. You can also add this service if you have an office by adding the secretary service while you are away. Added peace of mind while you relax and recharge. Contact your sales consultant to discuss an out of office service that works for you.