Updated: Jan 3
Do you want to go on vacation?
Do you stop yourself from going because going on vacation seems like it's more work than just staying and working?
I was recently on a call with a client, and she asked me if I had any advice on how to effectively return from vacation. Therefore, the inspiration for this blog.
It seems we have talked a lot about going on vacation. Still, we have never really touched on how to come back effectively and sanely from a vacation.
Now remedied, here are 5 tips on how to come back to work effectively from vacation.
1. Communicate with your clients and your team when you will be back online prior to leaving, and make sure to leave yourself some buffer time.
Let your clients know well in advance when you will be returning full force back to the office, giving yourself leeway according to your travel time and distance of travel. (See below for more information on recommendations on how much of a buffer you should give.)
Also, be transparent with your team and let them know when you will be back and how much you will be working upon your return.
When I went to Greece, I let my team know I would be handling payroll and time logs on the plane home and would have minimal availability until only about 2:00 pm for the rest of the week upon returning (to account for jet lag).
I also sent an email to my clients letting them know that I would have a light schedule upon my return, and I rescheduled most of my meetings with clients until the following week.
2. Set your “Out of Office” Reply for after you come back.
The amount of days for this really depends on how long your trip is. Still, you will want to give yourself a buffer from the day you are actually back to the office and when your “out-of-office” reply says you are back to the office. This gives you time to sort through your email and prioritize what you need to respond to first. This usually means 1) Team members 2) Clients 3) Prospects or Leads 4) Networking or connections.
Here is a good rule of thumb of how many extra days your “out-of-office” email should say according to the timeline of your vacation:
Long weekend (3-5 days) - One day after you are actually back in the office.
One week - 2 days after you are actually back in the office.
Two weeks- 3 days after you are actually back in the office.
Over two weeks- Anywhere from 3 days to 5 days depending on how long you have been out of the office.
3. Make sure your first day back you have no calls.
This is really important as there needs to be a buffer for you to catch up on everything you missed and have time to get back to the rhythm of work. Most likely you will be slow getting back your first day from the exhaustion of travel, and if jet-lag is in the mix, you may want to give yourself 2 days of no calls.
4. Only take client calls or internal meetings for 2-3 days after your return.
Again, this really will depend on how long you are out. Still, it is important that you keep your calendar open for returning back to your priorities: running your business and servicing clients. When I just got back from Greece, I kept my calendar very light for 3 days after my return, only taking up to 2 hrs of calls a day and only taking client calls.
5. Hire a Virtual Executive Daily Assistant
Not just a plug for our services… This is the best thing I did for myself this year. Because of Brendan (one of our team members), he took over handling my schedule and monitoring my emails while I was gone on vacation, and I had the most relaxing vacation I have ever had as a business owner.
I went on three vacations this summer and never went online to check my email once while I was gone. It was amazing and so good for my well-being to know that Brendan would handle my schedule and anything needing immediate attention.
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Written by MerriLyn Gibbs