5 Tips to Share With Employees Before They Leave for Vacation

Hiba Haider

With summer just around the corner, your employees are likely to request time off work to go on vacation or spend time with family. While all businesses should encourage their workforce to unplug, it's important that employees make arrangements so that their work and responsibilities are still completed in their absence. Below are five tips to pass along to your employees as they submit their PTO requests this summer to have a stress-free vacation.

1. Inform your team.

Employees should communicate the dates they will be out of the office to their immediate team as soon as they are finalized. For individuals working cross-functionally with different departments, it's crucial that employees ensure their responsibilities are either completed or redistributed before their departure. Making this announcement can help teams avoid unnecessary stress by making the appropriate arrangements so that all ongoing projects progress smoothly.

2. Prioritize projects.

Employees should be encouraged to push forward on time-sensitive or high-priority projects before they leave on vacation. Conversely, if there are tasks that can wait until after vacation, encourage your employees to prioritize tasks for when they return from their time off. Communicating this list of items with appropriate dates and deadlines will help manage the expectations of the rest of the organization when the individual is on vacation.

3. Reallocate work.

Without proper documentation, knowledge about processes and projects can sometimes become centralized within one stakeholder. It's important to encourage your employees to share with other team members the specific functions of their job and distribute responsibilities so that the absence of one employee for weeks doesn't mean that an entire team is at a standstill. Having this approach can ensure that your employees, both in and out of the office, can continue to work productively and work quality does not deteriorate.

4. Set up alerts.

As a basic practice, all employees should set up automated emails and voicemails informing those trying to contact them that they are out of the office. Additionally, it's important to include in these messages the next best person to contact during their absence or in case of emergency. Depending on the job function and company, it may also be acceptable to request the individual to respond on certain instances where their input or presence is crucial.

5. Look ahead.

To ensure that individuals don't return to chaos after their vacation, it can be worthwhile for employees to spend time anticipating what may be needed of them upon their return. Whether its quarterly goals or requests from managers or high-profile clients, creating a post-vacation plan can help employees come back to work and pick up exactly where they left off.

Hiba Haider

Hiba Haider


Hiba is an expert product marketer with a background in inbound and digital marketing. She writes about recruiting, HR laws, and how to build a great culture and is a proud Babson alumna.

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