Today is National Plan for Vacation Day, a time to encourage Americans to plot out their time off for the year. Whether you accrue hours or have an unlimited policy, workers in the US tend to struggle to take time off. In the past, people feared that taking time off would label them as less ambitious or they would miss out on critical work moments. However, like most aspects of our lives, the pandemic changed our outlook. After spending so much time at home, we are eager to get out and about. Plus, with work/life balance improving for many over the past year with remote or flex work, the excitement around putting up an OOO message is high.
If you find yourself staring at the calendar not knowing where to start, we have three tips to help you make the most of your vacation and return to the office stress-free.
1. Work With What You’ve Got
The first step to planning vacation time is understanding your company’s time off policies. How many days will you need to use? Can you convert sick time? These are important questions as you look at the whole year, as you do not want to run out of time when you want it, like at the holidays. As a freelancer or entrepreneur, you may have fewer restrictions on your time off, but it doesn’t necessarily make it easier to escape the office. Make a plan to vacation when you are historically less busy, such as after completing major projects.
The average American has 10 days of PTO and 10 federal holidays per year. Every vacation day is precious, so to make the most of your time it is important to play to your strengths. Don’t have school-aged kids? Take time outside of school breaks to avoid crowds and higher flight prices. Look to get the most of long weekends by tacking on vacation time before or after. Additionally, don’t leave travel for coveted weekend days. Taking early morning or late night flights helps you maximize time away without wasting vacation days.
2. Be Flexible and Prepare
Create timelines that work for you. Don’t schedule a full day of meetings the first Monday back. Avoid having major deliverables that the team would need to handle in your absence. Start prepping early by tackling upcoming projects. Similarly, ensure a smooth return by organizing your work life. Label and prioritize emails, make a to-do list ahead of time, and block your schedule for answering emails and calls.
Provide an out-of-office plan, especially if the time you want to take is coming up soon or occurs during a busy time at the office. That way, all your tasks are outlined for your coworkers, including who should respond to which emails. For long vacations, start planning a month in advance. Move meetings, put in some extra hours if needed, and give clients ample notice. The more you get ahead, the less chance you’ll be stressed out.
3. Have Support
Full-service office space is the #1 way to ensure that your business stays on track while you’re out having fun. Choose a location that offers mail collection, personalized call answering services, maintenance, and reception. It’s easy to come back from vacation when someone has been answering the phones, keeping packages safe, and collecting your letters.
A serviced office space also relieves the maintenance burden when it comes to closing up the office for a few days. You can step out without wondering if that sandwich ever made it into the trash because a trusted and professional staff member has been keeping everything in order for you.
A shared workspace provides the support you need year-round, so when it is time to put up that OOO message, you can relax with the confidence that staff has the necessities covered. Learn more about amenities at AdvantEdge Workspaces by clicking below!