Do You Have a Plan for Vacation Coverage?

There is nothing better than planting yourself in the sand with the sun beaming down and waves crashing against your feet. Until of course, your email dings, your phone buzzes, and your head is filled with worries about how work is going in your absence.

As Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, this topic is top of mind. Many leaders are reluctant to take off a few days or even a week for vacation because they fear what might happen in their absence. Here are some tips for effective coverage so that you can enjoy your time away.

Designate someone to fill in for you. Identify someone on your team who works closely with you. This person should have a strong understanding of your routine and the responsibilities that you handle.

Communicate with the entire team. Make sure everyone is aware of when you will be gone and who to report to while you are gone to keep things running smoothly.

Create a briefing document. Before you leave, prepare a briefing document. Make sure to include a list of time sensitive tasks that need to be done as well as procedures on how to do them. Doing this will not only help your designated backup and team, but it will also help you clarify priorities while you’re away.

Have an emergency plan. A company emergency is the last thing you want to deal with during your time off. Set up a plan of action that will ease your mind and help the team handle the situation while you are away. Make sure to include specifics of who does what and include plans for as many scenarios as you can think of. You may also want to share your plan with a peer leader.

Keep momentum going. Don’t let your time off slow down productivity. Set clear objectives and deadlines before you leave in order to keep things moving. Without those deadlines, employees might see your time off as a time to slack off.

If you must check email, set some boundaries, for example, ten minutes in the morning and late afternoon. Stick with this commitment as you simultaneously commit to be present with your family during this well-deserved vacation.

Time off is important for not only personal health but the health of the business. Take time to step away and refocus. Your company will be there when you get back.

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