9 Important Things to Do at Work Before Going on Vacation

April 24, 2019 | Episode #39
9 essentials you should take care of at work before you whisk yourself away on vacation! Plus, we're recapping my pre-vacation advice from episode 10!

This week, I’m on vacation in both Orlando and Miami, Florida! In that spirit, I thought I’d share a list of things to do at work before going on vacation!

9 Important Things to Do at Work Before Going on Vacation

Make Work Easier

1. Unplug all electronics

Not only does this help save a bit of money, it’s better for the environment, and it’ll protect your equipment in case of an electrical storm!

2. Set your email vacation responder

Make sure you’re detailed in your responder.

Include the following:

  • When you’re leaving
  • When you’re returning
  • Who folks can contact instead
  • Whether you’ll be checking your email

If you include these things, it’ll be much less likely that folks will bug you when you’re on vacation!

3. Set your voicemail outgoing message

Same deal here as with #2 above! Same things to include, too.

4. Let folks know!

Letting your team know you’re leaving is pretty obvious. But, have you told them what they can expect?

Will you be reachable? Will you be periodically checking in? Who’s covering for you?

My advice: Be totally unreachable when on vacation. There should always be at least two people who can do every job. And, for jobs that can only be done by you, it’s time to think about training someone else!

If you absolutely must be available, I recommend setting designated work times. Never be available 24/7; people will take advantage of it.

If you’re gone for a week, tell folks that you’ll check in on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8-10 (or whatever). Be specific, and set hard start and stop times. Also, tell folks to send things via email instead of calling!

If you set these expectations ahead of time, you’ll have fewer interruptions, and a much easier time delaying your response if/when they happen.

5. Arrange for deadlines due while you’re gone

Make a list of all of your open projects and their deadlines. Then…

  • Finish what you can before leaving
  • Postpone what can be postponed until after you return
  • Delegate anything that’s left to folks who can complete it

6. Get someone to take care of your plants!

Don’t forget about your plants while you’re gone. Ask a coworker if they can water them while you’re away.

And, if you have fussy plants, be sure to write down the instructions so folks aren’t confused (and don’t accidentally over/under-water).

7. Make sure someone has your office key

If you have a locked space, it’s a good idea that someone you trust has a copy of your key. If you, or someone else, needs something out of your office, this is critical. And, you never know when this’ll happen.

Oh, and if you have plants, obviously someone will need the key to care for them! ?

8. Organize your space

It’s much easier to transition back to normal life when you return to a clean, organized space.

Be sure to set aside some extra time to prep for your return! It should be the last thing you do before leaving.

Head back to #28: 4 Practical Steps for Planning for Tomorrow and review the daily mise steps. Just be sure to give yourself some extra time to tidy up, and for doing the rest of the tasks from this episode.

9. Empty the fridge!

I’m not sure there’s a worse way to return to your space than to have it reeking of rotting food.

Be sure you clean out your fridge, if you’ve got one!

And, be a considerate coworker and remove your food from the community fridge.

Recap: 10 Unusual Things to Do Before Going on Vacation

Make Life Easier

Head back to #10: 10 Unusual Things to Do Before Going on Vacation to review my list of things to do at home!

Also, I found a few more things to consider from a great article posted on the esurance blog:

  1. Freeze a meal so you’ve got food waiting for you when you return
  2. Pour baking soda down your drains to ensure you come back to a fresh smelling space
  3. Stop your mail. Did you know USPS offers a feature, called Hold Mail, that holds your mail for a designated time?
  4. Time your lights to throw off potential intruders

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