Summer travel season is in full swing, and you may soon be planning to set up your own “out of the office” message.
but in America, who has a work culture And void national law which guarantees paid vacation time, people find it difficult to take the holidays granted. the average american leaves nine and a half days off on the table each year, and when they do take time off, the majority say they are unable to do so. stop working,
The temptation to check work messages while on vacation is even more difficult for Len Vindenes, 28, who lives in Oslo, Norway, and works as a social media manager. like other European workersShe is entitled by law to a generous amount of paid leave.
Her company guarantees 25 paid vacation days per year, and she has to take three weeks off during the summer between June and August. Once she left for four weeks to tour Europe.
She admits that it’s “really hard” not to check email when she’s on holiday, and coming back from several weeks away is “always overwhelming”.
Here are her four top tips for how she prepares to be an OOO.
1. Ask your customers what they need from you
Just as you let your boss and team know when you’re going to be away, Windenes says it’s customary for her to send emails to the people she works with. about her holiday plans. She starts this process a month before her scheduled vacation.
“I usually start by letting my clients know I’ll be taking some time off, and ask them if they have any upcoming projects I should know about,” she says.
It’s helpful for her to know what her clients’ priorities are, and then figure out what she can accomplish before she leaves, what other coworkers can do while she’s away, and what to expect until she returns. can do.
2. Create a coworker coverage plan
Vindenes says the thing that comforts her most ahead of the holidays is knowing that “both the company and my co-workers support me.”
He and his team have a “very clear routine” Everything should go smoothly whenever someone is away and with the general understanding that “in Norway, we respect each other’s leisure time and don’t really want to contact that person unless someone Don’t be an emergency.”
A week before her vacation, Windenes will create handover materials for coworkers on things that are in progress “so that they are well informed and can easily get involved when needed.”
3. Let Your Boss Know Where Things Are
Finally, as she gets closer to being out of the office, Windens will give her boss a status update on projects.
That way he can provide any insight on how to prioritize his remaining time before PTO, or step in and help out if needed.
Windens makes sure she has a clear and realistic plan for how to end things before she walks away. “It’s hard to take a vacation when you have unfinished projects, so for my own sake, I get as much done as possible so I can step into my vacation in good conscience. ,
4. Set your out-of-office and turn off all notifications
Vindenes says a few weeks of preparation paid off: “It is important that everyone around me – customers, colleagues and managers – is well informed. This makes them less likely to contact me,” she says. “I also try to have a clear ‘out of office’ auto-reply, which makes it easy for my clients to know who they can contact in my absence.”
Then, she’ll turn off notifications on her email, messaging, and other work-related apps.
Beyond work, Vindenes says it’s helpful to work in an environment that encourages taking time off.
“I’m also well aware that I’m not a brain surgeon,” she says. “I do marketing. No one will die.
After the holiday, Vindenes would ask colleagues to help her finish what she had missed, and she would make a to-do list prioritizing urgency in order to “feel more organized and less overwhelmed when going through 500 emails”. Will make
European Vacation Mindset
Overall, Viandenes find it “fascinating” that Europeans have a different perspective from Americans on work-life balance and the value of vacation time.
She says, “In my opinion, there is so much to experience outside of work and I don’t want my work to become my personality.” Although she’s “definitely not the best at keeping work and stress aside,” she says that “it helps to have people around who remind me that work isn’t everything.”
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