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Out of Office: Taking the stress out of booking annual leave

August 20, 2021

Bigger workloads, slimmed-down teams and new ways of working are common among business travelers, post-pandemic.

We polled our LinkedIn followers about their eagerness to travel. A whopping 58% were most eager, saying they had their ‘passport at the ready.' That was for work. When it comes to traveling for leisure, ‘chomping at the bit’ would be an appropriate response.

Booking in annual leave can feel trickier than usual. First, there’s adding your dates to the team calendar and hoping your co-workers haven’t booked the popular times first – August and December being prime real estate. Then there’s sourcing cover and the inevitable mad rush to close urgent projects before you turn on your out-of-office. Here are a few ways to take the stress out of taking a break.

Brief your colleagues

To avoid unwanted text messages poolside, provide a detailed brief on each project/task and check if your colleagues have any questions regarding the tasks. As you delegate projects, provide a detailed brief on each task and check if your colleagues have any questions before you close your laptop.

Avoid scheduling too many meetings on your last day to leave time to craft a detailed handover without last-minute stress.

Hit the ground running

Before you leave, schedule in meetings for your return that play into your interests and will help you get a head start on projects, such as a creative brainstorm session or catch-up with a colleague who can give you the clearest picture of what you missed while away and what needs your attention. Avoid flying in late and starting work first thing the next day by factoring in a secret bonus day. Use it to unpack your suitcase, plan your first week back and ease back into work mode before reading your emails.

Checklists are your friend

You have enough on your plate with work tasks. Make a list of what to pack, check you’re not missing any documents by checking CWT Travel Essentials and download our handy travel checklist.