A chic city break, a relaxing beach holiday to recharge the batteries or an adrenalin-filled adventure break, whatever type of holiday you have set your sights on this summer, no doubt you will want to fully enjoy it without worries about work creeping in. According to a YouGov poll, 38% of UK employees have made or received a work call whilst on holiday. If you are hoping for an uninterrupted break, follow our 6 easy tips for handing over work before you go on holiday.
Tip 1: Plan early
When it comes to taking time off work, the saying “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!” definitely applies. Even if you booked your holiday months in advance, don’t be tempted to leave your handover until the last minute. The first step to carrying out a great holiday handover is to plan early. This will afford you plenty of time to gather all of the necessary information and to make sure that your handover is a stress-free process.
When planning your handover, consider the following:
- What tasks need to be done while you’re away?
- Who is the best person to cover for you?
- What information do they need to know?
- What deadlines are coming up?
When delegating work, you will need to make sure the person responsible will be able to manage their own projects and yours, without feeling overwhelmed. It’s also wise to double check that they don’t have annual leave booked which clashes with yours.
Tip 2: Be organised
When it comes to planning your handover, organisation is key. This will make it easier for your colleagues to follow your instructions and to keep things running smoothly in your absence.
When preparing for your holiday handover:
- Create a document or system that outlines all of the tasks that need to be done.
- Include clear instructions for each task – be precise and practical.
- Highlight any deadlines to ensure these aren’t missed.
- Share the handover document with your colleagues in advance of your holiday so they have time to read it and ask any necessary questions before you leave.
Tip 3: Use the opportunity to offer training
The key goal is to ensure your work is picked up by someone capable but why not consider whether the situation can be used to help a colleague expand their role or earn a promotion? Going on holiday offers the chance for someone more junior to ‘act up’, and take on more responsibility, perhaps learning more about a role they wish to peruse in the future. If your workplace lends itself to this idea, having the person shadow you is a good way for them to train and see what the role entails before you take time off.
Tip 4: Make sure they have everything necessary
Avoid your holiday being interrupted with unnecessary phone calls by making sure the delegated person(s) have access to everything they need to perform your role. Whether it is user-permissions within software, passwords for accounts that you use or physical access to tools and equipment, consider everything they may need in your absence.
Tip 5: Before you go…
In addition to the tips above, here are a few extra tasks you can carry out to ensure a smooth holiday handover:
- Make sure that your email inbox is organised and that you have a system for dealing with urgent messages while you’re away.
- Set up an out-of-office message that includes contact information for the person who is covering for you.
- Keep a record of your handover documents in a safe place so that you can easily access them if needed.
- If it is absolutely necessary for you to be contacted while away, specify times that you can be contacted in an emergency so that you are not constantly interrupted.
Tip 6: Debrief when you return
Once you return from holiday, it’s important to debrief with your colleagues. This will help you get up to speed on what happened while you were away so that you can pick up where you left off or deal with any urgent matters.
By following these tips, you can conduct a great holiday handover that will help to ensure that your work is covered while you’re away, leaving you to relax and enjoy that well-earned break.