For many, the summer season is vacation season. It’s the time of year when you and other staff members at your electrical distributor might consider taking some time to travel and be with friends and family. Because work doesn’t simply stop while you’re away, taking a vacation can often be stressful. However, with a little communication and preparation, you can set yourself up for a relaxing, well-deserved break and a stress-free return to work.
Here are five things you can do to ensure that operations are worry-free while you’re gone and go smoothly when you return.
- Be tactical with your schedule. Many people dread the stress of getting all their work done before a vacation, as well as the overwhelming strain of catching up when they return. This is precisely why many of us avoid taking vacations altogether! One practice that helps reduce anxiety is to schedule a “buffer day” right before and immediately after your trip. This essentially gives you a meeting-free day on either end of your vacation to prepare to be gone and to catch up when you get back.
- Deploy a “to do” list. Getting everything on paper is an effective way to stay organized and ensure that nothing is overlooked. Using different categories such as: “Family/Vacation Planning”, “Work to Be Done Prior to Departure” and “To Be Done When I Get Back” will help prioritize tasks that need to be completed and make it easier to execute your action plan. Having the list of what needs to be done when you return to work will make it easier to get back into the swing of things when all you’ve had on your mind for the past seven days is beaches, theme parks, or camping trips!
- Use your communication channels effectively. Create a customized auto-reply email and an outgoing voicemail message. Upon your return, you won’t want to listen to ten angry voicemails from a customer wondering why you haven’t returned their calls about a big electrical order. Avoid this by setting up outgoing messages that say how long you’ll be out and who to contact in your absence.
- Communicate with your customers. Contact high priority customers a week or two prior to your vacation. Let them know that you’ll be out and ask if there’s anything they need before you leave. This serves as a great excuse to reach out to them and demonstrates that providing great service is a prime concern for you. A quick call to your key accounts is also a great opportunity to introduce them to whoever is covering for you while you’re gone.
- Communicate with your colleagues. Send out a reminder note a week prior to your vacation to give fellow team members plenty of advanced warning. That way, if anyone needs anything from you, it’s up to them to get in touch with you before you leave. This additional communication ensures that you come across as professional, considerate, and service-focused. Plan to spend some extra time with anyone who might be covering for you on specific projects, bids, etc. Making sure that they know everything they need to know will make their lives easier and give you added piece of mind while you’re off relaxing.
As the old Scout Motto says: “Be Prepared”. Although it might seem like a daunting task, there is an easy way you can enjoy your vacation without worrying about what’s going on back at your electrical distribution center. It may take some planning on your part, but it will be worth the effort, before, during, and after your well-deserved time off.
What do you do to ensure a smooth summer vacation? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your best practices.