The summer months are quickly approaching, and that means your team’s calendar may start getting packed with vacations. Now is the time to plan ahead! Make sure you have a game plan for how (and to whom) your workload will shift—and how to prepare without stressing before, during, and even after your vacation occurs. Here are three ways you and your team can properly prepare for the potentially heavier workload in the months ahead:
Once your vacation gets put on the team calendar, the first thing you should do is communicate the dates you will be out of the office to the rest of the team. By doing so, you are allowing for awareness amongst the team and opening the door for communication around how your workload will be managed while you are out. Everyone’s role and function are different, so how that looks will vary from person to person. You may be able to prepare all your work the week prior, but it’s likely to require other team members to step in for client relations and other time-sensitive tasks.
Plan Ahead and Delegate
Once there is communication around when you will be out of the office, you and the rest of the team can start planning ahead. It’s important to acknowledge that one person doing their full workload can be stressful enough. Mixing in your responsibilities along with theirs can be overwhelming. By planning ahead, you, your boss, and your team can identify how your workload will be delegated accordingly. It will also drive awareness for potential deadlines and how that can overlap with others’ current workload. Depending on the size of your department, you may even find yourself in a situation where team member’s vacations overlap or are stacked back-to-back. As your team communicates, plans ahead, and delegates, remember to view the month as a whole. You may be functioning with one man down for a few months, so it’s important to delegate the workload accordingly in a way that is sustainable and manageable for the entire team.
Lastly, time management will be critical to your and the team’s success. It’s easy to know something is coming up in X amount of time and have the mindset of “crossing that bridge when you get there,” but time always has a funny way of sneaking up on us! Depending on the strategy your team implements to cover vacation time workloads, it’s important to be mindful of your time and how you can start to work on the additional projects that may have a deadline in the upcoming weeks. A helpful tip is to communicate how much time certain tasks take. Whether you’re delegating your workload to someone else or the one taking on extra work, knowing how long a task typically takes is an important part of planning ahead. You may even want to incorporate extra time if it’s not a task you’re familiar with doing.
Summer vacations should be filled with making memories and being present. By communicating, planning ahead, and being mindful of your time you can feel confident that both you and your colleagues will have a stress-free summer!
“Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.” –Dale Carnegie