Prepping for a Summer Vacation – Don’t Burn Your Co-Workers


A vacation. The idea should be a happy one, something that brings to mind relaxation and enjoyment. But for many, it conjures up the opposite emotions – anxiety wondering how things are going at work, frustration at having to take calls from co-workers asking for information, and dreading the mountain of emails confronting you when you return, or worse yet, checking them while you are on the beach.

How can you avoid this situation? The trick is preparing the right way. Here are some things to do.

Prepare well ahead of time

Talk with your manager about creating a plan for a co-worker(s) to handle your responsibilities while you are gone. Give yourself plenty of time before you leave, so you can put together a plan that is thorough and complete. Write down exactly what needs to be done and how to take care of everything.

Prepare the person who will be handling your duties

Meet with the person taking your place and go over everything that needs to be done. Do this well ahead of time so the person has enough time to learn any new skills that may be needed and knows the routine.

The final meeting

Have one last meeting with your replacement before you leave to finalize any details and to make sure they are familiar with everything and to answer any questions. Also, when you return from your vacation, meet with the them again so they can brief you on how things went, what was done and what still needs to be done.


The person taking your place should have the authority to take care of your email while you are away to prevent a major backlog and make sure nothing important is missed. This will also reduce the chances you will be bothered during your vacation by questions about email.

Hold a staff meeting about vacations

Everyone should meet to plan a system for handling things when people go on vacation. All staff should give input into the process. This will allow employees to take much-needed vacations without experiencing a lot of stress and without too much interruption of the normal work flow at the office. 

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