Out of the Office? How to Prepare for Time Away from Work


If you are anything like me, it is important for you to leave the office with peace of mind especially for an extended time away. Time away from work for a vacation or business trip requires some diligence to ensure all is left in good order.

Getting organized, delegating and covering all bases will guarantee you can be away with comfort of mind. It will take a little work but the benefit is time away knowing that business activities are being handled.

  1. Put in some extra time. If you are swamped at work and you know that being away from the office will set you back even more, it may be wise to put in a few extra hours prior to leaving. Get ahead on projects that are near due or will be due while you are absent. The extra time may be difficult to manage but the the reward of peace of mind will win you over.
  1. Change voicemail and out of office alert email response. Set a reminder so you don’t forget to set an auto reply on your email alerting your contacts that you are away. Be sure to add an alternate individual that your contacts can connect with if they are in need of immediate assistance or in case of emergency.
  1. Leave contact information with your boss and cover person so you can be reached in case of emergency. Since you are ensuring everything is in order, it is a good idea to advise the person who is covering you and/or your boss how best to connect with you should there be an emergency.
  1. Check in on action items. During the weeks leading to your time away, it is important to check in on project timelines to make sure nothing is left pending while you are out of office. This will also allow further peace of mind knowing exactly where all tasks are at when you exit work for some time.
  1. Schedule a meeting with the individual(s) who will be covering you while you are away to bring them up to speed with any projects, people or situations they may need to deal with in your absence. While this is important, it is equally important to schedule some time with your cover person upon arrival from your trip. She can bring you up to speed and bring your attention to anything that needs immediate attention.
  1. Set up remote access to your computer. This can be a life saver and time saver while on a business trip. Access to your workplace desktop via your laptop may allow you to complete your daily tasks while away on business. Software such as LogMeIn is an ideal choice and offers a free trial followed by a subscription.
  1. Plan ahead with respect to what may come up while you are out of office. If you can, try to anticipate any activities that may arise while you are away and inform those who are covering you of what may occur; this will put your mind at ease knowing you thought of every possible task that may require attention.
  1. Create a back to work to-do list. This will help you return knowing exactly what needs to be done and will alleviate any possibility of work looming while away.

Use these simple tips to alleviate any “away form work” anxieties or stressful feelings. By preparing before you leave you will provide not only yourself, but your co-workers and employer peace of mind that it will still be business as usual in your absence.



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