Entirely relaxed –
both before leaving and after returning from a holiday
The summer holiday is an annual highlight. Yet often merely the idea of being away from work for two to three weeks at a time harbours additional potential for stress. There is simply far too much to get done beforehand. There’s no need to worry though – hope is in sight. With a few simple tricks, you will be able to enjoy a relaxed departure to your holiday and return the same way.
Let everyone know well in advance
Inform your colleagues and customers that you will be away at least two weeks before your holiday. Make a list of projects that need to be taken care of by the time you leave. One week before your holiday, make a list of exactly what you still need to get done in your last few days in the office – and stick to this. Otherwise you run the risk of getting lost in irrelevant (or fascinating) details.
A well-organised handover is essential. One week before you leave on holiday, decide on one or more people to cover for you. Involve these people in ongoing email exchanges regarding current projects early on. Your second to last day in the office is a good time for the handover: If you do not have time to complete the handover, you will still have time to follow up. Do not only tell the people covering for you what needs to be done, but rather also what is important and what is urgent – and which customers sometimes hassle when there is actually no need. You should not only inform the people covering for you of all passwords, but of your filing system, too. How do you sort your paperwork and emails? What can go straight into the bin?
Your last day in the office
… should be devoted entirely to finalising arrangements. If possible, do not make any appointments. Instead, ‘Clear inbox’, ‘Tidy desk’ and ‘Log status’ should feature on your itinerary. Before you leave on holiday, make a note of the current status of your ongoing projects. When you return from your holiday, you will then be able to simply check how things progressed while you were away. Include the contact details of the people covering for you and the duration of your absence in your automatic email response.
During your holiday
If possible, do not take any work away with you on holiday and leave your work phone at home. Otherwise, you will undoubtedly end up checking it constantly – alone out of habit. If it is not possible to leave it at home, decide on set times when you will check your emails and when the people covering for you (and only these people) may contact you in case of an emergency (and only then). Incidentally, your body will need a ‘cool-down’ period before it is ready for complete relaxation. Therefore, make the first day of your holiday an active day – go on a hike, for example. Only then should you head for the sun lounger.
Upon returning to the office
Returning to the office after a timeout is a lot easier if you start with a shorter working week – on a Thursday, for example. Do not cram the first few days back in the office full with appointments and meetings. Instead, try to integrate little holiday rituals into your daily life: a glass of freshly-pressed orange juice in the morning or a stroll around the block during your lunch break. This will help you to retain the relaxed holiday feeling for longer.
We wish you a fantastic holiday!