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Holiday Hacks: Mastering Your Time Off Like a Pro

Dreaming of sun-drenched beaches or epic adventures? Here’s your ultimate guide to mastering your time off and maximising your precious holiday time, whether you’re a seasoned traveller or just planning your first escape. 


Know Your Rights (and Perks!) 

  • Entitlement Check: First things first, understand your minimum holiday allowance mandated by law. But don’t stop there! Many companies offer additional paid leave. Check your employee handbook or ask HR to confirm your specific entitlement. 


Planning Is The Key

  • Plan Ahead, Communicate Openly: Don’t wait until the last minute! Submit leave requests well in advance as per your company policy. Clear communication with colleagues about your plans is key to ensuring a smooth handover and avoiding last-minute scrambles. 
  • Respect Your Teammates: Be mindful of busy periods in the business and consider collaborating with colleagues to ensure smooth coverage during your absence. Be aware of other team members plans too, especially around school holidays. Remember, a happy team is a productive team! 


Tech & Transparency: Setting Up for Success 

  • Out-of-Office: Before jetting off, set an informative out-of-office message. Let colleagues and clients know you’ll be unavailable, who to contact for urgent matters, and your expected return date. Adding a phone number and email address is also a good idea.


Returning Refreshed (and Ready to Share!) 

  • Catch Up & Communicate: Don’t come back to a mountain of work. With good planning, you can set yourself up for a smooth return that allows you to hit the ground running. Upon your return, prioritise catching up on missed tasks efficiently. Communicate any outstanding projects or urgent issues that require attention and ask for help if you need it.


Bonus Tips for Extended Holidays 

  • Workload Management Wizard: Ensure a seamless transition by organising your workload before leaving. Brief colleagues on ongoing projects requiring attention in your absence. This minimises roadblocks and keeps things moving smoothly. Don’t forget relevant login and contact details where relevant.
  • Staying Connected (Optional): For critical projects, you may choose to check emails periodically. However, prioritise your well-being! Avoid feeling obligated to be constantly available. If do need to check your emails, limit the time to once or maximum twice per day. The point is to truly disconnect and recharge. 
  • Sharing is Caring: Upon returning, share any interesting experiences, knowledge, or skills gained during your holiday that could benefit the team. This fosters a culture of learning and growth within your company. 

Looking Ahead: A Sustainable Future

Remote Work Wonders: With remote work possibilities on the rise, explore this option with your employer for added flexibility during holiday periods. This allows you to enjoy some downtime while maintaining productivity. This may be something that could be incorporated at other times of the year too.

  • Pro Tip: Search for keywords like “remote working policy” or “flexible working arrangements” in your employee handbook to see if this is an option for you.  If it isn’t discuss it with your line manager.

Travel Green: Consider sustainable travel choices for your vacations – think trains, eco-friendly destinations, or exploring your local area. Some companies even offer incentives for environmentally friendly holiday options! 

  • Action Step: Research “sustainable travel tips” or “eco-friendly destinations” online for inspiration.

Good for the company and good for you!

Remember, a well-rested and recharged employee is a valuable asset. By implementing these tips, you can make the most of your time off and return to work feeling energised, motivated, and ready to tackle new challenges with a fresh perspective. This not only benefits your own well-being but also translates into increased productivity, creativity, and a happier work environment for everyone, so your boss will be happy too!