We are now in the thick of winter and several of our team members have taken or scheduled vacations. Taking a little getaway in winter months is a great idea to help us recharge our batteries and keep up our energy until spring. But our work world does not stop while we are away. With a little planning and effort, you can ensure that your business will continue to run smoothly while you or a team member is out of the office.
Two Weeks Before You Leave
Back Up Files:
In the weeks leading up to your vacation, start backing up all of your pertinent client and project files on a cloud based platform like Dropbox. This will not only ensure that you will be able to access your files from anywhere should you decide to do some work while you’re away, it allows you to share files with your team in bulk.
Prioritize Your To Do List:
Run through your to do list and mark anything that absolutely must get done before you leave. If you’re overwhelmed, see if there is anyone who can take on some of your tasks. Make sure that all of these critical tasks are completed before you move on to peripheral projects.
Notify Your Clients:
Make sure anyone with whom you work on a regular basis knows that you’ll be out of the office. Give them the contact information for someone who can help them while you are away. Also let them know what you plan to accomplish before you leave, what (if anything) you have scheduled for while you’re out, and what you will do when you return.
The Week Before You Leave
Scheduling tools for social media and CMS’s allow us to stockpile content that will automatically drip out while we’re on vacation. It will take a little extra work during the weeks leading up to your trip, but it will be well worth it while you’re relaxing on the beach or hitting the slopes!
Using an application like HootSuite makes it easy to schedule your social media posts so you can follow your normal posting routine, even when you’re gone. Set aside a good chunk of time to do this, especially if you’ll be gone for more than a week, as finding items to post and then scheduling can be time consuming. Appoint someone the job of checking your social media every day to respond to any comments or messages or simply post that you will be away and you will get back to commenters upon your return.
Google is still going to crawl your site while you’re away. Make sure it’s seeing fresh content by scheduling a blog or two in your CMS before you leave. Prepare and schedule enough blogs to continue your regular posting regimen while you’re on vacation.
Tie Up Loose Ends:
Finish up the projects you are working on. Send your clients status updates and give them a timeline of what they can expect once you are back in the office. Make sure that everyone on your team knows if there are any additional tasks that they will need to take on while you’re out.
The Day Before You Leave
Set Your Out of Office:
As simple as it is, an Out of Office on your email is a powerful tool. Your clients may have forgotten that you will be away. If they receive no response while you’re out, they will start to become concerned and frustrated. An Out of Office serves as a reminder that you will be unavailable. Make sure you include the name and contact information of someone who can help clients who may need immediate assistance.
- Relax! You’ve worked hard and you’ve earned time away from it all to recharge your batteries. If you must stay in touch with the office, set a limit for yourself. Call in to the office once and work for no more than an hour each day. You came on vacation to get a break from work, not so you could take it with you!