Welcome to Summer 2018! This time of year can be incredibly hectic with holiday plans, school breaks, and tempting travel deals. Keep your professional life on track with clear, intentional vacation communication using the handy check list below.

Prepare

In addition to booking hotels and airline tickets for your summer getaway, prepare those in your work world for your absence. Book 30 minutes a couple weeks before your holiday and use that time to make a list of all the projects and people who may be impacted when you’re out of the office. Decide who needs a simple heads up, who needs a meeting to discuss processes and procedures for your absence and who will be just fine when they get an email autoresponder saying you’ll be out for two weeks.

Follow Through

Send out the emails and book the required transition meetings 10 days or so before you depart. That gives everyone time to ask questions, readjust their workload if needed and fully prepare for your absence. Set up your outgoing phone message and an email autoresponder letting folks know when you’ll be returning, who they can talk to in your absence,  and what your process will be for getting back to them when you return. (Setting their expectations will help you to manage re-entry to the work world.) You might also consider adding a little zing to your out of office messages with these autoresponder ideas.

Follow Up

Once you’re back at your desk, remember to remove your autoresponder and change your outgoing message. Some people like to use an interim message noting that they just got back to the office and it may take them a little longer than usual to respond as they are working through two weeks of inquiries. Follow the process you promised – whether it’s returning messages in the order they came in, triaging messages to get to the most urgent or important ones first, or some other process.

Talk to you next week,

Amber D. Nelson

 

 

PS: In just a few hours, I’ll be joining Michelle Perkins on her Limit Free Life radio show to talk language, leadership and (self-imposed) limits. Tune in at 1pm Pacific today! Click here for more info and to listen in.

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