Welcome back, everyone! We hope that you enjoyed your week – as I return from a vacation and some PTO, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to address how I best prepare for vacation days so that I can take full advantage of my time OOO (out of office). Keep reading to find out how to do so HERE!
Communicate and Anticipate:
If you are planning to ask for time off, make sure to read any company policies in order to make sure you are following all guidelines. For example, if your company requires that you give notice of your request at least 4 weeks prior to your desired vacation, plan as far ahead as possible to be able to do so and request the dates that work best for YOU! It’s always better to ask way ahead of time so as to ensure that your manager will have time to prepare for your absence and allocate your assignments to other employees.
- Pro-tip: Pay attention to how your teammates request PTO! Do they do so a few days ahead, weeks before,… do they send out a calendar invite so the team has a view into their absence? Assimilating into the practices sent in place will set you up for success.
Tips on How and When to Ask:
- Ask during “down” times: This may seem obvious, but try to plan your vacation during a time when your team isn’t drowning in work. Many of us have certain “busy” seasons at work, and if you are swamped with projects, wait until the busy period is over and everything has cooled down (keep this in mind for your boss as well – if they are super busy, leaving in the midst may leave a negative impression on the team).
- Prepare: If you know that you are going on your vacation soon, make sure all of your work is complete beforehand. Even if this requires some extra hours in the office, they will pay off in the future by showing your teammates that you care to leave them in a secure position to take on some of your responsibilities.
- Communicate: On the same note as leaving minimal work to your teammates, make sure to communicate (through email or other written dialogue) to all appropriate parties that you’re leaving and when. That way everyone will know what to expect once you’re gone and for how long!
- Collaborate with your coworkers: There will always be “popular” times to take off work like the holiday season and year-end. When able, try to divide these days up and work as a team with your coworkers to maximize each employee’s satisfaction.
- On vacation… STAY on vacation! Even if you are itching to check your work email or phone while you are physically out of town, we recommend that you do NOT unless absolutely necessary. Remember, you have PTO for a reason and what that means is to… unplug from work. Setting the precedent of being reachable while out of the office will not only hinder your ability to relax but could contribute to a negative work-life balance and culture as well.
- Extra note for new employees: Remember that if you are new to a job, you are expected to be prepared, productive, and most importantly, present. We recommend you do not ask for time off within the first several months of your job if you can avoid it!
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